MELBOURNE, (Reuters) – India’s attempts to get under Australia’s skin in the second test “backfired” on the way to defeat at the Gabba, according to paceman Josh Hazlewood.
Australia head into the third test starting in Melbourne tomorrow with a 2-0 lead in the four-match series and looking to seal victory.
Hazlewood’s team mate and fellow seamer Mitchell Johnson came in for some sledging by India’s fielders in Brisbane but spanked an important 88 from 93 balls in Australia’s second innings before setting up victory with a four-wicket haul.
“It backfired at the Gabba with them trying to get stuck into us and Mitch fired back,” Hazlewood told reporters in Melbourne yesterday.
“It was good to see him pick up some wickets in the second innings and really fire up and bowl fast.
“It’s a good spot to be in at 2-0 at this time of the year. If we can crack them right open (at the MCG) early we can drive the game forward towards 3-0.”
Hazlewood, the latest young talent to come off Australia’s fast bowler production line, enjoyed a fine test debut, taking five wickets in the first innings for a seven-wicket match overall at the Gabba.
He is set to be retained in a three-pronged pace attack along with fit-again Ryan Harris and Johnson for Melbourne’s traditional ‘Boxing Day’ test.
If called on to bowl first, the trio will hope to do damage early on the Melbourne Cricket Ground’s drop-in wicket as it usually tests batsmen in the first session before flattening out.
“This one will be different again, but it’s always our goal to take 20 wickets,” Hazlewood said.
“They’re a class batting line-up, but whether they get starts or not we’re looking to keep bowling well to them all the time, keeping them tied down, and looking to take wickets throughout the day.”