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Cricket: Hazlewood comes out of the shadows with stunning Adelaide spell

Cricket: Hazlewood comes out of the shadows with stunning Adelaide spell
December 20, 2020

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Josh Hazlewood has sometimes been overshadowed by his fellow members of Australia’s bowling attack, but at Adelaide Oval on Saturday he stepped firmly into the limelight with a blinding spell that humiliated India in the first test.

Working in tandem with Pat Cummins, the world’s top-ranked bowler, Hazlewood bagged the most economical five-wicket haul by an Australian bowler in 73 years as India were bundled out for 36, their lowest ever innings score.

The big quick from rural New South Wales bowled three maidens in his five overs, dismissing Mayank Agarwal, Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari at the cost of just eight runs.

A committed team man, his first instinct was to pay tribute to Cummins for taking the first three wickets, although his partner did report that at one stage Hazlewood cheekily suggested he might take more wickets than concede runs.


“(We knew we had) something special going, and I just felt like if we kept bowling in those areas that nicks were going to keep coming,” Hazlewood recalled after the match.

“We just didn’t let up really. It was just one of those days when everything went to plan, we kept putting it in on that spot and the nicks kept coming.

“It happened so quickly, it was over before we knew it.”

The dismissal of Ashwin gave Hazlewood his 200th test wicket, the 17th Australian to reach the milestone.

The speed of the India collapse meant Mitchell Starc, the other member of Australia’s pace-bowling triumvirate, bowled only three early overs and never returned.

Australia duly romped to an eight-wicket victory over the shell-shocked tourists inside three days to take a 1-0 lead in the four-test series.

It was a remarkable turnaround to a test match which had been finely poised after two days. Hazlewood admitted the Australians had been as surprised as anyone.

“We were probably a bit more stunned when we came off from bowling,” the 29-year-old said. “The mood didn’t change too much throughout the whole game to be fair.”