Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood provides fitness update ahead of WTC final
"My fitness is pretty good and it is just a matter of ticking off every session from here until that date (June 7) basically," he said.
LONDON: With the World Test Championship final just a week away, Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has provided an update on his fitness. Recently, Hazlewood has been in a battle with a small issue and due to this he had to cut short his time with the Indian Premier League (IPL) outfit Royal Challengers Bangalore earlier this month when the injury started to aggravate.
But now the 32-year-old has returned to full training and was bowling almost to his full potential as Australia enjoyed a training session at Formby Cricket Club in England's north on Tuesday. This was just the second time Hazlewood had executed his elegant bowling action since his arrival in England last week.
As he continues to find his grove, the Australian is confident that he will be fit enough to feature in Australia's playing XI for the upcoming Test against India. "My fitness is pretty good and it is just a matter of ticking off every session from here until that date (June 7) basically," Hazlewood said as quoted by International Cricket Council (ICC).
"We will probably have anywhere from three to four more sessions - bat versus ball and then a couple of longer days in the nets as well or centre wicket down in London - so it is just ticking off those last few boxes and pulling up well from every session." "It was pretty close (to full pace today). I came down for a little bowl yesterday just to loosen up and to get a bit more out of today's session, so it is feeling good."
"After a long few travel days, it is always a case of the first one getting the cobwebs out and stretching out and doing some run-throughs just to get the blood flowing. It is always good to get the first one out of the way and when we get to London we will steam in," Hazlewood added. The side issue Hazlewood is trying to bounce back from isn't the only concern the tall Australian pacer has been battling in 2023, he also picked up an Achilles injury during the third Test against South Africa at the SCG during the start of the year.
This clearly indicated that Hazlewood failed to feature during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in India in February and March. He managed to mark his return to the pitch for the three matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. While Hazlewood only bowled nine overs during his stint in the league, the veteran seamer felt that he was in T20 mode and as he tried to utilize different types of deliveries may have been a cause that led to his side issue.
"In T20 you are bowling a lot of various different balls every over," Hazlewood noted. "A wide yorker, to a bouncer, to a slower ball and it probably got jammed up a little bit and a bit of scar tissue from previous injuries flared up. It calmed down pretty quickly, I had a week off but I didn't quite get back to going 100 percent at IPL. But the last few bowls have been good and I have been building up nicely," Hazlewood concluded.
India will play against Australia in the WTC final at the Oval, London which will begin from June 7.