Josh Hazlewood is a part of the fearsome pace bowling battery of Australia that has tormented the world sides over the last few years. With an uncanny ability to bring the ball both in and out, Hazlewood has been a nightmare for the opening batsmen in Tests. The pacer is compared to his countryman and former cricketer Glenn McGrath for his languid run-up and action.
Josh made his name in domestic circuits by becoming the youngest player to make his debut for New South Wales at the age of 17. In the same year, he also represented Australia in the U19 Cricket World Cup 2008. He continues to play for the same state in the Sheffield Shield and has played 89 FC matches and taken 334 wickets at an average of 24.56.
Josh Hazlewood was picked by the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for INR 2 crore in the player auction last December
Interestingly, the New South Wales native had caught the eye of IPL scouts way back in 2014 when he was picked by the Mumbai Indians’ ahead of the seventh edition of the league but unfortunately he didn't play a game. Hazlewood certainly has the big-game experience and temperament required to make a splash in the big leagues. Under the guidance of MS Dhoni, he is expected to see a turnaround in his T20 career.
Hazlewood made his international debut in an ODI against England on 22 June 2010 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton. The visitors batted first and scored 267/7 in their 50 overs. Josh got the wicket of Craig Kieswetter as England chased down the target with 4 overs to spare.
The snub from ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is certainly a low point in a short career of the Australian pacer. He was named in the Australian squad predicted by a few cricket pundits and former cricketers before the official squad was announced.
Josh Hazlewood's T20I debut came three years later after his ODI debut at the Gabba in Brisbane against West Indies. He got the Universe-boss Chris Gayle out for a paltry score of 8, but West Indies still managed to set a target of 192. The Aussie batsmen weren’t up to the mark on the given day and lost the match by 27 runs. Josh Hazlewood was also named in Australia's squad for the 2016 T20 WC but only managed to play two games. Some indifferent form and injuries have kept him out of the shortest format of the game but he was given a new lease of life when he was selected for the limited overs side to tour England post COVID-19.
Josh Hazlewood made his Test debut on 17 December 2014 against India at the Gabba. He got a five-wicket haul in the first innings that restricted the Indians to 408. Australia scored 505 in their first innings and Hazlewood struck twice in the second innings as well. The home side completed the 128-run target with 4 wickets in hand. The youngster turned heads after his impressive Test debut. He picked up the wickets of stalwarts like Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara (twice) and MS Dhoni (twice). He also scored an unbeaten 32 off just 50 balls in a 51-run partnership with Mitchell Starc for the last wicket. His match figures were 7/142. He has continued to impress in the longest format since then.
Hazlewood further shone in the 2017-18 Ashes campaign at home as the Aussies regained the urn after five years. He claimed 21 wickets in Australia's 4-0 victory.
Despite having two stress fractures in his back in the last twelve months – an injury that crippled him as a teen tearaway, Josh made it to the squad for the 2019 Ashes tour to England. He was dropped in the first Test but made a decent comeback in the second Test, taking 3 wickets in the two innings as the match was drawn. In the third Test, Hazlewood came to the party and took 9 English wickets in the match but England won the match, courtesy Ben Stoke's heroics. In the next two Tests, Hazlewood took 8 wickets as Australia retained the urn with a scoreline reading 2-2.
At the age of 17, Hazlewood became the youngest fast bowler to represent New South Wales, while at 19; he became the youngest player to debut for Australia. Hazlewood excelled at a number of sports at his school. Javelin Throw, Shotput, Discus Throw and Cricket were “a few” of his favorite sports. Friends of Hazlewood’s dad reportedly placed a Aus$100 (US$82) wager with British bookmakers almost 11 years ago at odds of 500-1 that Josh would become a Test player before the age of 30. The bet paid off well, and in 2014, with Hazlewood’s debut, his dad’s friends won Aus$50,000 each, a return 500 times the initial bet.