Josh Hazlewood on his return to the Australian team

Australia cricket, Cricket, featured, Josh Hazlewood

Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood has declared himself ready to return from the side strain that ended his Ashes series after the first Test in early December.

Having endured the bittersweet feeling of only being able to watch his teammates rout England 4-0, Hazlewood said he was in no doubt for the five Twenty20 games against Sri Lanka next month.

The 31-year-old quick, who was recently named in the ICC Men’s T20 Team of the Year, acknowledged it had been a “frustrating” period on the personal front with injury.

“I’m definitely back for the Sri Lanka T20s,” Hazlewood said ahead of the series starting in Sydney on February 11.

“I’ve got a couple of weeks up my sleeve to get right and should be fine.”

With a busy international schedule this year, including a three-format tour of Pakistan starting in March and a home T20 World Cup campaign in October, Hazlewood knows he’ll have to manage his workload.

“I think it’s pretty much impossible to play all the games for Australia,” he said.

“We’re going to have to prioritise – whether it’s red-ball over white-ball or vice versa or depending on how your body’s travelling.

“As far as time away from home and bubble fatigue, there’s going to have to be some time put aside to hopefully get home for a week or two in and around those series.”

If a positive came from Hazlewood’s absence against England it was the Test emergence of veteran Victorian seamer Scott Boland, who snared 18 wickets in three matches and became a cult hero.

Despite the added competition going forward, Hazlewood was delighted for the popular 32-year-old.

“Scotty was awesome. Great to see – he’s the nicest guy in Australian cricket, I think,” he said.

“It was quite nerve-racking giving his baggy green to him in Melbourne. Seeing how he went in not only that game but the rest of the series was awesome.”


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