While reviewing the Adelaide Test on the Sony Sports network, Kartik and Zaheer Khan lauded Josh Hazlewood's stupendous spell that demolished the Indian batting lineup.
Murali Kartik pointed out that Josh Hazlewood is known to bowl in troublesome areas for the batsmen. He highlighted that Tim Paine opted to give the new ball to Pat Cummins instead of Hazlewood in India's second innings.
"You always expect him to bowl at the right spot. That is why he is such a dangerous bowler. The interesting thing was that when Australia started to bowl yesterday, Pat Cummins was given the new ball although Josh Hazlewood generally bowls with Mitchell Starc."
Kartik reckons that this decision by the captain could have fired up Josh Hazlewood to deliver his best once he was given the ball.
"The captain does these things sometimes unintentionally but it can wind the bowler up. So, it felt he was charged up but whether he is charged up or not, you always expect him to bowl the immaculate length."
Murali Kartik observed that Josh Hazlewood getting a wicket with his very first delivery might have spurred him on further.
"But when you get a wicket off the first ball, it acts like a fuel. The more you keep getting, you bowl two-three extra overs. So, that happened and the batsmen were anyway under pressure from the other end."
Zaheer Khan's views on Josh Hazlewood's spell
Zaheer Khan pointed out that the general bowling principle in Test cricket is to bowl a probing line just outside the off-stump.
"If you ask anyone, they will say that you should bowl in the corridor of uncertainty, that you come near the off-stump, bowl at a good length and continue doing so."
He observed that while this tactic may not yield wickets always, it does keep the batsman on his toes.
"You may get the reward sometimes and not at other times but you need to keep asking the tough questions of the batsmen. The batsmen always have to be cautious when the bowler bowls in that area."
Zaheer Khan added that Josh Hazlewood's height makes it more difficult for the batsmen to counter him, especially when he gets seam movement from the surface.
"He has the height in any case and he gets the advantage of that. And when you have such a length and the ball does something from that spot, you will always trouble the batsmen and that can be seen from his economy as well."
Zaheer Khan signed off by stating that while Josh Hazlewood was only economical in the first innings, the extra pace and bounce on the third-day surface made him more penetrative.
"In the first innings he could not get the wickets but the batsmen could not score much against him. Now, when the wicket became slightly quicker and bouncier, he caused a lot of problems for the batsmen and he bowled an excellent spell."
Josh Hazlewood was handed the ball only in the 13th over of the Indian second innings. He made an immediate impact by getting rid of Mayank Agarwal with his very first delivery.
The lanky seam bowler followed that up with the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari to rock the Indian batting lineup.
Published 19 Dec 2020, 21:05 IST