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Josh Hazlewood ready for T20 Challenge

Josh Hazlewood ready for T20 Challenge
Josh Hazlewood's last appearance for Australia in the Twenty20 format came in January 2014.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Australian fast bowler Josh Hazlewood, who has not played a Twenty20 International in over two years, is ready to take up the challenge of playing in the shortest format ahead of the ICC World T20.

Hazlewood has been one of Australia's main bowlers in Tests and the One-Day Internationals but the last of his four appearances in T20Is came in January 2014 against England. 

In the recent times, the Australian pace attack has been depleted due to retirements and injuries and the team will take part in the ICC World T20 without their strike bowler Mitchell Starc.

In the first T20I against South Africa, Hazlewood did not play and the 25-year-old understands that it makes sense for him to get some rest after a hectic season.

“There will be a little bit of rust,” Hazlewood told AAP.

“Just bowling in the nets to the guys in Durban, they come pretty hard at you.

“It was a bit of an eye opener and a good reminder of how tough T20 is as a bowler.

“I’m obviously coming off a pretty heavy couple of weeks in New Zealand and a couple of flights.

“If I was going to miss one then it probably makes sense for it to be the first.

“This series is a really good opportunity to put your hand up and really stake a claim for the World Cup.” 

In Test matches, Hazlewood has 70 wickets from 17 games at an average of 25.77 with three five-wicket hauls while his tally in the ODIs reads 27 wickets from 17 innings.

Though it has been over two years since he last played in the T20 format, Hazlewood stated that he is excited to take up the challenge and replicate his form in the shortest format.

“I am pretty confident after the last two years. Touch wood.

“I haven’t played a T20 in a long time. I’m pretty excited.

“Everything happens so fast. It’s a different challenge, definitely a big challenge, and I can’t wait.” 

Australia will go into the second T20I against South Africa in Johannesburg facing a must win situation after the hosts took an early 1-0 lead in the three-match series with a three-wicket win in Durban. 

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