Australian veteran all-rounder Shane Watson concedes the development of as a T20 bowler has gotten him unsuspecting, accepting the right-armer to now be viewed as Australia’s best T20 quick bowler.
While Hazlewood made his T20 debut for his nation way back in 2013, he was neglected for a spot in Australia’s 20-over side for quite a long time as the 31-year-old was categorized as a Test and one-day bowler.
Amazing To See Josh Hazlewood’s Evolution As A T20 Bowler: Shane Watson
Yet, sequential effective IPL crusades with Chennai Super Kings in 2021 and Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2022, sandwiched by a super reliable T20 World Cup for Australia last year has seen Hazelwood’s T20 bowling stocks keep on rising.
“It has been amazing to see Josh Hazlewood’s evolution as a T20 bowler,” Shane Watson told Isa Guha on the latest episode of The ICC Review.
“I always thought he was just a Test and one-day bowler because he didn’t have that many defensive options in T20 cricket, but he has developed tremendously over the past couple of years.
“It was a huge opportunity for him to play for CSK (Chennai Super Kings) and they gave him a really good run and let him find his feet in that previous IPL heading into the T20 World Cup.
“And right now he is Australia’s best T20 fast bowler, there is no question.”
Josh Hazlewood Important For Australia’s Defence Of The T20 World Cup: Shane Watson
Shane Watson anticipates that Hazlewood should assume a significant part in Australia’s T20 World Cup defence on home soil not long from now.
“Josh shows that you don’t really have to be able to do something truly different to be a really good T20 bowler,” Watson said.
“If you are great at really executing your yorkers, your change of pace, but also then your stock ball is at the top of the stumps at good pace, then you can be very effective.
“He has shown that he has been one of the world’s best over the last couple of years…he is going to be very important for Australia’s defence of the T20 World Cup.”
Australian Conditions Will Suit Josh Hazlewood: Shane Watson
Shane Watson said Hazlewood can frame an impressive quick bowling partnership with left-armer Mitchell Starc and Test captain Pat Cummins at the T20 World Cup. He likewise supported Cummins to perform well in Australian circumstances in spite of his form at the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders.
“The Australian conditions will suit him more than in India because the wickets there are a little bit slower, so his length the ball does sit up a little bit more,” Watson noted.
“Whereas in Australia that back of a length does skip through more, so he is going to be more effective in Australia.
“To be able to play any World Cup at home you are going to be jumping out of your skin to play, so I am sure he will be one of Australia’s best bowlers during that tournament.”