Hazlewood: Australia’s first ever fast-bowling captain

The Australian cricket team may well, soon appoint its first ever fast bowling captain in the form of Josh Hazlewood who has indicated a desire for a leadership role within the Australian cricketing setup. Hazlewood faces a tough fight from the likes of Mitchell Marsh who has been hailed as one of the favourites to take over the deputy’s role under the leadership of Tim Paine.

“I would love to do it. It’s a great opportunity to get one of the bowlers in there, get our point of view of what’s happening out on the field and so on,” said Hazlewood. “It would be exciting to get the role. It brings the best out in players, as we saw with Smithy his batting went to another level when he became captain.

“We’ve got that senior group of four or five players there who’ve played a lot of cricket now. Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, myself and Tim Paine. I think it’ll be fine whoever gets the job”.

“I guess I have been around the team for quite a while now, played 40 or so Test matches. It’s quite a young group once you take those senior guys out. Being a bowler, it would be good to have one of us in the captaincy.”

The circumstances surrounding the sudden departure of former Australian captain Steve Smith as well as his deputy David Warner due to charges of ball tampering against South Africa recently has sent the Australian cricketing setup in a state of disarray with Tim Paine handed the responsibility of stabilizing the increasingly volatile situation. The role of a captain involves a lot of pressure with the criticism involved capable of having a serious impact on the personal performances of a cricketer as well. This is not an area of concern for Hazlewood considering his capabilities and talent according to the viewpoint of fellow fast-bowler Pat Cummins.

“Sometimes (fast bowlers are) pretty cooked (after bowling) and we just watch the game and start to get our heads around having to bat or recovering from bowling,” said Cummins. “But he’s straight there watching, and he has some really good ideas about how to approach an innings.

“He’s a really good thinker, but at the same time, he’s really chilled out and relaxed and really professional in everything he does. (As a bowler) you’ve got to know your own game, but you’ve got to know what batsmen are going to do as well. Whether he’s got a title next to his name or not, as a leader, that’s what he brings”.

“He can speak about other batsmen and think like a batsman, even if it’s through bowling to them rather than being a batsman himself.”

Hazlewood will be eager to make his case for the role of a captain even stronger with a dominant performance against team India at home.

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