Josh Hazlewood says his injury layoff is a blessing in disguise ahead of the India tour

Josh Hazlewood

 Josh Hazlewood says his recent three-week injury lay-off was a “blessing in disguise” ahead of Australia’s limited over a tour of India. Hazlewood was forced out of last month’s Perth Test against New Zealand due to a low-grade hamstring tear. The injury forced the 29-year-old to miss two Test matches against New Zealand in Melbourne and Sydney.

“It’s maybe a blessing in disguise for this (Indian) tour having these couple of games,” Hazlewood was quoted as saying in the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’.

The upcoming series between India and Australia starts January 14 in Mumbai. The second ODI will be played in Rajkot on January 17 and third in Bengaluru on January 19.

Hazlewood, who is often compared to Glenn McGrath, made his return to white-ball cricket with the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League (BBL) and has put up impressive performances.

Hazlewood, who last played an ODI in November 2018, will be resuming ODI cricket on the Indian tour after almost 14 months.

“I’m happy with what I’ve done in the first two (BBL) games and happy I’ve got two white-ball games under the belt.

“Patty (Cummins) and Mitchell Starc are going to face coming straight from red-ball cricket into a one-day series and maybe not have as much time to work on those variations,” Hazlewood said.

On his 29th birthday, Hazlewood shone out with the bat against the Adelaide Strikers, hitting Peter Siddle for three successive boundaries to raise victory by two wickets.

He had no idea that on his birthday, which was a day ago, he would end up being the hero with the bat instead of the ball.

“Not very confident,” he recalled of his feeling when he walked into the middle with the Sixers 8-124.

“I was trying to get bat on the ball. I got lucky with a few to the short boundary. We fluked that one, I think.”