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England's Bowlers Also Need to Bat Better: Josh Hazlewood

Reuters |December 25, 2017, 12:38 PM IST
England's Bowlers Also Need to Bat Better: Josh Hazlewood

Melbourne: Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood has piled more pressure on England's beleaguered bowling attack ahead of the Boxing Day Ashes Test, telling them they are not doing a good enough job with the bat either.

Australia have already regained cricket's most famous trophy after they took a 3-0 lead in the five-match series with an innings and 41-run victory in Perth last week.

England's bowlers, particularly James Anderson and Stuart Broad, have struggled on the tour, with pitches and conditions rarely offering them the swing and seam movement they extract at home. They have also been down on pace.

The fourth Test starts at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Tuesday and Hazlewood underlined his side's mentality of wanting to sweep the series with a barbed shot at England's lower order.

"We know if we get them four or five down then we can really go through that bottom half pretty quickly," Hazlewood said. "On any wicket. We don't really need much in the wicket to take those last six wickets. It's about grinding it out, getting those first four or five.

"That's been one of the big differences, our middle to lower order has wagged a fair bit this summer."

Australia's pace trio of Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins have dished out a short-pitched barrage against England's tail, which has paid dividends and his observations are far from hyperbole.

In the four innings Australia's lower order have had to bat this series, their last five wickets have added 100 or more runs three times.

They are averaging almost 142 runs per innings and on two occasions captain Steve Smith has had the luxury of declaring.

England's tail by contrast have added more than 100 runs just once in six innings. On average their final five wickets are contributing just another 72 runs to the team's score.

The tourists, however, will have some respite in Melbourne with Starc ruled out of the match with a heel injury.

The 26-year-old Hazlewood also added the MCG pitch would probably be flat and offer little assistance to either side's bowlers.

"It hasn't been great the last couple of years for quicks," he said. "It's a very flat wicket, I'd say it's the flattest in Australia.

"It's quite evenly paced, there's no real sideways movement, no real swing and it doesn't spin much.

"You just have to be patient as a bowler and as a bowling group to build that pressure and get your wickets that way."

Cricket World Cup Points Table

Pos Team P W L T/NR PTS NRR
1
AUS
7 6 1 0 12 +0.90
2
NZ
6 5 0 1 11 +1.30
3
IND
5 4 0 1 9 +0.80
4
ENG
7 4 3 0 8 +1.05
5
BAN
7 3 3 1 7 -0.13
6
SL
6 2 2 2 6 -1.11
7
PAK
6 2 3 1 5 -1.26
8
WI
6 1 4 1 3 +0.19
9
SA
7 1 5 1 3 -0.32
10
AFG
7 0 7 0 0 -1.63

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3631 113
2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
see more