Vodafone Test Series v India
Gabba return to lift Aussie pace attack: Hazlewood
Josh Hazlewood believes Australia will grow a leg when in action at the Gabba despite a short turnaround because of their undefeated streak
13 January 2021, 10:04 AM AEST
The Gabba pitch will ensure Australia's pacemen have a pep in their step during the fourth Vodafone Test, even after a quick turnaround and hard slog in Sydney.
Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc delivered a combined 74 overs in the final innings of the third Test, failing to prise out Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari during Monday's tense finish.
The series finale, which will decide whether Australia or India take possession of the Border-Gavaskar trophy, starts on Friday.
It has been eight years since Australia have had to deal with a three-day turnaround after bowling more than 130 overs in a fourth innings.
Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc would no doubt have given themselves more respite if in charge of the schedule.
But the pace trio will be licking their lips at the prospect of bowling in Brisbane, where Australia haven't lost a Test since 1988.
"All Australians love playing up there. We probably grow a leg given the record we've got," Hazlewood.
"We know touring sides don't like to play there, so that puts us a bit ahead before a ball is bowled. I guess we thrive on that.
"It's an awesome place to play. Very much an Australian venue, I've always enjoyed playing there.
"It's late in the season to be playing there - it'll be a bit hotter than normal - but we'll put up with that and hopefully the thunderstorms stay away."
Tim Paine's team have lobbied hard in recent years for every Test summer to start at the Gabba, which would have been the case for the series if not for COVID-19.
Hazlewood, speaking last week before he toiled for 47 overs at the SCG, indicated that he, Cummins and Starc were on track to play all four Tests this summer.
"It's probably the freshest we have felt while turning up to Sydney at this time of year, for a very long time," Hazlewood said.
"Back to back is fine ... even if we bowl 40-plus overs here, we'll be OK for Brisbane."
James Pattinson has remained in Melbourne as he recovers from a rib injury, meaning that Michael Neser will likely debut if a member of the current attack is ordered to sit out the final Test.
Paine predicted after the drawn third Test that Hazlewood, Cummins and Starc will be fine to back up.
"They know they have a rest after the Gabba," he said.
"They enjoy bowling there. It's a bit easier on the body, seeing the ball fly through.
"They'll be fine to go."