Kolkata: Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood feels South African swashbuckler AB de Villiers will be the toughest batsman to bowl against given his compact technique and ability to score with innovative strokes. (Read more World Twenty20 stories here)
“He can really dominate to a great extent in the first six overs. Even at the end, he can dominate. Every team has a few. Practice bowling against our top six here,” the tall Aussie pacer said. (Steve Smith to Bank on Indian Premier League Experience to Bag Elusive World T20 Title)
“I think variation would be the key. One can get predictable.James Faulkner has different variation and is very good at it, 3 or 4. I am trying to talk to them and learn variations.”
Often compared with the legendary Australian quickie Glenn McGrath, Hazlewood said he takes it as a compliment.
“Being mentioned in the same article, same story as Glenn is quite flattering really. But I’ve not much work with him except at the MRF academy for one year probably four years ago.
“I’ve spoken to him a few times around the grounds at different times. Guess what I liked is how he went about his business when I was young watching cricket in Australia. Thought that was the best way of going about the task was tying up one end and building pressure.
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Another Aussie all-rounder Mitchell Marsh said he’s certainly no Jacques Kallis but he would like to bat well and contribute to the team’s win in the World Twenty20, something the legendary South African is known for.
“I’m certainly no Kallis…I still see myself as a batting all-rounder. My bowling has obviously improved a lot and I’m very satisfied that I’ve been able to work extremely hard to get my bowling to a point where the captain can call on me to get a wicket or tie up an end. I love to contribute whenever the captain needs me.”
Marsh further said responsibility of being an all-rounder playing all three formats is very challenging as he has played all in the last 18 months for the Aussies.
“The most challenging part is to keep yourself on the park. And I’ve been able to do that which is great. In the process, I have learnt a lot about my body, how it works, what doesn’t. And most important is that I’ve learnt the game a bit and gained a lot of confidence from playing a lot of cricket over the last few months. And hopefully that’ll continue.”
Marsh further said their IPL experience would come in handy in a tournament happening in India.
“Certainly we feel very lucky that we get to spend a lot of time in India now through the IPL, and through playing a lot against India. Biggest thing for us is that every single one of our players has played here now and at some stage has had success as individuals.
“People talk about us not being good in Indian conditions but we certainly have had a lot of individual success. Certainly come here with a lot of confidence but we know it is going to be hard work.”
They might have had a 2-1 series win over South Africa in the buildup to the World Twenty20 but Marsh said it’s past now as they train their eyes on their first match against New Zealand in Dharamshala on March 18.
“It was nice to play and win that series but really, it counts for nothing now. We’ve moved on. It’s now all about first game V NZ and preparation starts tomorrow V West Indies.”