The Indian team is 4 without loss at stumps on the penultimate day of the series-deciding fourth and final Test. They need a further 324 runs on the final day to win back-to-back Test series in Australia. However, the hosts will go all out for a win, as a draw will allow India to retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
In a discussion on the Sony Sports network about the biggest challenge for the Indian batsmen in their second innings, Sanjay Manjrekar was quick to take the name of Josh Hazlewood..
While acknowledging that Pat Cummins has been the most penetrative Australian bowler in the series, Manjrekar pointed out that Josh Hazlewood is best suited to utilise the cracks emerging on the deteriorating Brisbane surface.
"His name is Josh Hazlewood because the crack is there in a perfect line for him. Pat Cummins is a better strike bowler, but certain bowlers prove to be more dangerous based on the pitch, and I feel the biggest threat for the Indian batsmen will be Josh Hazlewood."
Manjrekar added that while Cummins has drawn all the plaudits, Josh Hazlewood seems to be the most cerebral bowler in the Australian attack.
"Pat Cummins has been spoken about more. But from a distance, it seems like among the three, Josh Hazlewood is applying his brain the most," said Sanjay Manjrekar.
"Josh Hazlewood will certainly cause trouble for the batsmen" - Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan also concurred with Manjrekar and observed that Josh Hazlewood, whose bowling is similar to that of Glenn McGrath, could pose the biggest threat for the visitors on the final day of the Gabba Test. He said in this regard:
"He will do his job. We have Glenn McGrath in our commentary panel, who has been a great bowler and also used to do a similar thing. If you ask Hazlewood, somewhere or the other Glenn McGrath's influence has been there on his cricket and his career."
The former Indian pacer pointed out that Josh Hazlewood's high-arm release suits the bouncy nature of the pitch and could pose difficult questions to the Indian batsmen.
"He also approaches his bowling in a similar manner. He keeps on bowling in the same area where he won't concede too many fours or runs and uses the bouncer as a variation. When you are a tall fast bowler and the pitch conditions favour using the bounce, I feel Josh Hazlewood will certainly cause trouble for the batsmen," observed Khan.
Josh Hazlewood is the second-highest wicket-taker in the ongoing India-Australia Test series. He has accounted for 16 wickets, just one short of his compatriot Pat Cummins.
The lanky pacer has already demonstrated his potency on the bouncy Gabba surface with a 5-wicket haul in the first innings. He was also the principal architect of India's collapse in the second innings of the Adelaide Test, where he recorded a stunning 5/8 to dismiss the visitors for a meagre 36.