Magellan Ashes 2017-18

Hazlewood fit and firing for Ashes

NSW speedster declares he's ready for Ashes after impressive return in Shield match

Sam Ferris

10 November 2017, 01:39 PM

Pace ace Josh Hazlewood has declared he's ready for the first Magellan Ashes Test after surprising himself with just how successful his first-class comeback was.

Hazlewood will go into the Gabba Test on November 23 with just one JLT Sheffield Shield match under his belt after starring in NSW's thrilling win over the Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors in Sydney's south on Tuesday.

The speedster dismantled an impressive WA top order at Hurstville Oval in the tourists' first innings and bagged both Marsh brothers – Shaun and Mitchell – twice in the match to finish the fixture with match figures of 6-73 from 33 overs.

Hazlewood bags both Marsh brothers and Cartwright

He was set to play in NSW's next match – against the myFootDr Queensland Bulls at Allan Border Field from Monday – in the final round of the Shield before the opening Ashes Test, but having slipped straight back into his bowling rhythm in his return from injury the right-armer will instead train alongside Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird at the Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane to prepare for Joe Root's England.

"Things went pretty well the whole game," Hazlewood told reporters in Sydney on Friday.

"From ball one I was pretty surprised with how well the ball was coming out, how good the run-up felt, how good everything (was) in general.

"I'm pretty happy with where it's at now so I don't think there's a need to play another game.

"I'm ready to go now and we obviously talk with the coaches and selectors and physios and whatnot, everyone is on the same page and ready to go."

Day four highlights: NSW v Western Australia

Hazlewood had a solid hit-out with the Blues today at the Sydney Cricket Ground, bowling to Australia's leadership duo of Steve Smith and David Warner alongside Starc and Cummins.

The contest between bat and ball was at Test-match intensity, particularly between Smith and Starc, with the rapid left-armer putting the skipper on his backside on multiple occasions.

"It's always good fun and they (Smith and Starc) are two world-class players, so it always keeps you on your toes and makes sure you get everything out of the session," Hazlewood said.

"That's what they're always like.

"They're always into each other and Patty (Cummins) and I just do our thing.

"It's pretty easy to fire Starcy up, so Smithy takes it on.

"There's no real 'going through the motions' when you're bowling at those two (Smith and Warner)."

While England are facing their own bowling depth issues after Jake Ball went down yesterday in Adelaide, Australia's fast bowling stocks took a hit with Nathan Coulter-Nile set to take a break from cricket after re-injuring an old back stress fracture.

Hazlewood said the fast bowling community is tight in Australia and is confident the WA speedster will be back on the park.

"You always feel for a fellow fast bowler, especially his (Coulter-Nile's) run the last couple of years," he said.

"I feel a bit sorry for Nath but he's done a lot of hard work to get back from different things and I'm sure he'll put tin the hard work again and come back from this one."

2017-18 International Fixtures:

Magellan Ashes Series

First Test Gabba, November 23-27. Buy tickets

Second Test Adelaide Oval, December 2-6 (Day-Night). Buy tickets

Third Test WACA Ground, December 14-18. Buy tickets

Fourth Test MCG, December 26-30. Buy tickets

Fifth Test SCG, January 4-8 (Pink Test). Buy tickets

Gillette ODI Series v England

First ODI MCG, January 14. Buy tickets

Second ODI Gabba, January 19. Buy tickets

Third ODI SCG, January 21. Buy tickets

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Buy tickets

Fifth ODI Perth TBC, January 28. Join the ACF

Prime Minister's XI

PM's XI v England Manuka Oval, February 2. Buy tickets

Gillette T20 INTL Series

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Buy tickets

Second T20I – Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Buy tickets

Third T20I – Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Buy tickets

Fourth T20I – NZ v England, Wellington, February 13

Fifth T20I – NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I – NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final – TBC, Eden Park, February 21