White-ball skills need greater focus: Hoff

Hazlewood believes time spent honing skills for shorter format during Test tours may be necessary as World Cup talk increases

Josh Hazlewood has attributed England's ongoing superiority in limited-overs cricket in part to their largely "specialist" white-ball bowling attack that has enabled them make a more seamless transition from the Test match format.

And while Hazlewood is not advocating for Australia to adopt a similar philosophy to help overcome their recent struggles in the 50-over game, he does believe his fellow fast bowlers might benefit if they incorporated some white-ball skills sessions into their Test training regimen.

The 27-year-old, who is Australia's top-ranked bowler in Test and ODI cricket, claims the current playing schedule is so cluttered that there is little opportunity for bowlers who play in multiple formats to change their required skills set from one game style to the next.

England's decision to employ a limited-overs bowling outfit that features only Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali (as well as allrounder Ben Stokes, when available) from their Test line-up is one means by which the quick turnaround from long to short-form matches can be best managed.

But Hazlewood has suggested that another method, that would enable Australia to adapt their Test bowlers more smoothly into limited-overs mode, might be to include dedicated white-ball bowling sessions into their training regimen even when they are on Test duty.

"We haven't quite transitioned from Test cricket to one-day cricket as well as we could have," Hazlewood said today after arriving in Adelaide to prepare for Friday's fourth match of the Gillette ODI Series that England currently leads 3-0.

"England have two sets of bowlers in some regard, with only Woakes and Ali backing up (from the Magellan Ashes Test series) so they're really one-day specialists I guess you could say and they've showed us how to play.

"I think you still want your best bowlers playing … but you do need to work on skills from time to time.

"Maybe it's a session here or there around Test cricket, you work on those skills with the white ball.

Match Highlights: Third ODI - Australia v England

"We can probably learn and do things a bit differently.

"I guess you have to outline some training sessions for the white ball stuff and work on your variations even while you're playing on a Test tour.

"My role in one-day cricket is a little bit similar to Test cricket, I bowl at the start a lot and a little bit through the middle.

"But for some guys like Starc and Cummins their one-day game is probably closer to a Twenty20 game where they bowl a lot of overs at the end when the (opposition) batters are going."

Hazlewood and his Test teammates Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins are expected (fitness willing) to lead Australia's attack in their defence of the ICC World Cup, with the showpiece 50-over tournament to be held in the UK in mid-2019.

An event that will be immediately followed by the next iteration of the Ashes, which might necessitate some changed training practices to ensure Australia are fully prepared for their tilt at a first Test series win on British soil since 2001.

A greater conundrum looms for the national selection panel the following year when Australia hosts the ICC World T20, the sole major global cricket trophy that has so far eluded them and a format of the game in which the five-time World Cup winners are currently ranked seventh.

One of the problems the panel will face is the paucity of 20-over match experience that a player such as Hazlewood – whose international duties preclude his involvement in the annual KFC Big Bash League, and who does not participate in the Indian Premier League – heading into that tournament.

Despite his current top-five ranking in Test and ODI cricket, Hazlewood has not featured in the BBL since 2014 and his only three 20-over appearances since then all came during the previous World T20 event in India two years ago.

He has nominated for the upcoming IPL player auction that will be held in Bengaluru this weekend, at a reserve price of around $AUD400,000 even though he boasts virtually no T20 experience over recent years.

Hazlewood acknowledged today that he wants to be part of the World T20 when it's held on home soil in 2020, provided he is able to get a few games of 20-over cricket under his belt to show selectors he can be effective in the shortest format.

"It would be absolutely ideal," he said of the prospect of playing another World Cup at home, having been part of Australia's successful 50-over campaign in 2015.

"You always want to play for Australia in every format, so hopefully I get a crack at playing some T20 cricket before then and put my case forward as well."

2017-18 International Fixtures

Gillette ODI Series v England

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Cameron White, Adam Zampa.

England ODI squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

First ODI England won by five wickets at the MCG

Second ODI England won by four wickets at the Gabba

Third ODI England won by 16 runs at the SCG

Fourth ODI Adelaide Oval, January 26. Tickets

Fifth ODI Perth Stadium, January 28. Tickets

Prime Minister's XI

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

Gillette T20 trans-Tasman Tri-Series

Australia T20 squad: David Warner (c), Aaron Finch (vc), Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Travis Head, Chris Lynn, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.

England T20 squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Dawid Malan, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood.

First T20I Australia v NZ, SCG, February 3. Tickets

Second T20I Australia v England, Blundstone Arena, February 7. Tickets

Third T20I Australia v England, MCG, February 10. Tickets

Fourth T20I NZ v England, Wellington, February 14

Fifth T20I NZ v Australia, Eden Park, February 16

Sixth T20I NZ v England, Seddon Park, February 18

Final TBC, Eden Park, February 21

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