Ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 final, former Australian cricketer Shane Watson drew comparisons between fellow Australians Glenn McGrath and Josh Hazlewood. Watson explained what made the latter effective in the conditions in the UAE.
Josh Hazlewood will be among the key players for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), who take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the tournament final in Dubai on Friday. Watson said on Star Sports’ Select Dugout:
“For me, the thing that I have loved about Josh Hazelwood is the control that he has of the ball coming out of his fingers, and that’s along the lines of what Glenn McGrath did. The control that he (McGrath) has on how much the ball swings or which way the ball seams, Josh had that even from a young age, so that for me was one of the comparisons."
Josh Hazlewood has nine wickets from eight matches at an average of 29.3, going 8.5 runs an over.
Josh Hazlewood is hard to play in the UAE conditions: Shane Watson
An all-time great, Glenn McGrath is regarded as arguably the greatest fast bowler, who excelled with the ball across different conditions.
Highlighting the control and accuracy that Glenn McGrath had, Shane Watson compared this with Josh Hazlewood and explained how the latter could make a difference in the UAE conditions with his ability to control the ball’s movement. He said:
“Yes, Glenn McGrath, his accuracy, time and time again his ability to keep doing it again is something that not many fast bowlers ever had. But that’s one of the similarities for me with Josh Hazelwood. Just his control over the ball coming out of his hand, that’s why when there’s a little bit dew in the wicket or with the brand new ball, he’s incredibly good with just being able to get something out of the wicket."
“Just with enough variation or enough little something out of the wicket or something in the air, which means he’s very hard to play in these conditions too."
CSK, the three-time IPL champions, have made it to their ninth IPL final. The last time they won the tournament was in 2018 when Shane Watson blasted a century against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the tournament final.
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