Australia pace bowler Josh Hazlewood feels the return of Steve Smith and David Warner will help the bowlers maintain their intensity throughout the lengthy home series against India.
In a chat with Sportstar , Hazlewood discusses the challenges the home season will pose, the bio-bubble life and more.
India has a good batting line-up, but Rohit Sharma is missing in the limited-overs leg, does that offer Australia an advantage at least psychologically?
Rohit is a class player in all formats so any team would be slightly weaker without him playing. Especially in the white-ball formats his record is outstanding but in saying that India has great depth and whoever comes in will certainly grab our attention.
READ: Kohli's absence a great chance for Rohit to shine, says McGrath
Last time India toured Australia, Steve Smith and David Warner were missing. Now that they are back, how much would it help Australia?
It’s a massive help along with Marnus (Labuschagne) coming on the scene lately. Not only their runs but the time they bat is also hugely important to the bowling group. It gives us enough rest to freshen up for the next innings or match.
Steve Smith had a pretty quiet IPL by his standards. Is it a concern for a batsman or bowler when he isn't doing well in one format and is expected to switch to another in a matter of weeks?
All international players are comfortable changing formats regularly. It’s part of the game, and Steve does this very well. His record for Australia is phenomenal, and I can’t see this summer being any different.
READ: Not sure if Kohli’s absence is going to be a deciding factor, says Pat Cummins
Glenn McGrath used to make strong statements ahead of any series, targeting the rival batsmen. Would you consider making some proclamations or would you just let the ball do the talking?
I am more than happy to let the ball do the talking. We are confident every time we play Test cricket, especially on home soil. India is a strong side and should be a great series again.
You have been playing and practising in a bio-secure bubble since late August. How challenging has it been?
Bubble life offers up different challenges, but I believe it is still a small price to pay for playing for Australia. Quarantine on returning to Australia will pose the most questions as it is the hardest time if it continues to happen following every overseas tour. So that is something that needs to come into consideration. It will affect everyone differently, and that’s something we need to accept and support.
In the series two years ago, Australia's pace attack faded in the latter two Tests. Has there been any chat around how to keep up the intensity over four games?
I think that comes down to time in the field. The first two Tests are very important to bat time and give the bowling group time to rest and freshen up. We have always done a lot of work on fitness and will be up to the challenge as usual.
Cheteshwar Pujara scored a ton of runs the last time India and Australia met in Tests. What's the strategy against him going to be this series?
Plans against Pujara... Hmm, we will keep those to ourselves for now (laughs)!