Qantas Tour of South Africa
Hazlewood hoping for Amla repeat
The Aussie had the upper hand in 2016 and he's out to maintain that record in South Africa
Sam Ferris in Durban
27 February 2018, 09:36 PM AEST
When Mitchell Starc was asked how to dismiss Proteas great Hashim Amla, the Test spearhead fired back an answer faster than one of his lightning yorkers.
"I'm going to tap Josh Hazlewood on the shoulder and go 'Here mate, he's all yours'."
Hazlewood owned Amla last summer, dismissing the 113-Test veteran a perfect five times in five innings in the three-Test series South Africa won 2-1.
It started in the first Test in Perth where the Australian drew a tentative forward defence from the right-hander, who edged a length ball that straightened off the WACA Ground wicket to the safe hands of Steve Smith at second slip.
Three balls. Zero runs. First wicket.
In the second innings, all it took was one ball from Hazlewood to castle Amla. Playing back to a delivery honed in on the woodwork, Amla was airborne when he was late clamping down on the ball that cannoned into his stumps.
One ball. Zero runs. Second wicket.
Hazlewood's hold continued in Hobart where the Proteas demolished Australia by an innings and 80 runs and Amla had his best knock of the tour, 47 from 67 balls.
But against the Bendemeer product, Amla made 16 from 23 balls before he was out edging behind, wildly throwing his hands at an outswinger without moving his feet to the pitch of ball.
Twenty-three balls. Sixteen runs. Third wicket.
In the final Test, a day-night fixture at Adelaide Oval, Hazlewood had the pink ball rearing off a length to take the shoulder of Amla's bat to the soft hands of debutant Matthew Renshaw as Australia's new era started with a flurry of Proteas wickets.
Three balls. Two runs. Fourth wicket.
Finally, in the second innings it took 10 balls for the elegant stroke-maker to score his first run off the metronomic quick, and off the next nine he was only slightly more prolific, managing a further two scoring shots that yielded five runs. He was out caught behind, squared up by another ball on or just outside off-stump.
Nineteen balls. Five runs. Fifth wicket.
Total: Forty-nine balls. Twenty-three runs. Five dismissals.
Now it's time for the Hazlewood-Amla rivalry to reignite, this time in South Africa.
The first Test starts on Thursday in Durban and Amla enters the four-match series with three-half centuries in his past four Test knocks under his belt.
Hazlewood is coming off a Magellan Ashes series where he captured 21 English wickets at 26 as perhaps Australia's most reliable bowler.
Having dismissed Amla so quickly in Australia – three times inside a handful of deliveries on each occasion – Hazlewood's answer is a touch ironic when asked what is the key to dismissing the champion batsman.
"I'd say patience, first of all," Hazlewood told cricket.com.au in Johannesburg last week.
"He's obviously a class player, everyone knows that, and his record speaks for itself.
"I'm just lucky enough to maybe have the wood on him at the moment.
"I had some good success against him in Australia and hopefully with these conditions pretty similar to those (at home) I can get on top of him early and put that pressure back on him."
So what's it like knowing you have the wood on a batsman?
"It's a great feeling," Hazlewood said.
"Even speaking to Nathan Lyon through the Ashes, he had Moeen Ali's number the entire series.
"It's a good feeling and I think the batter feels that as well.
"Through the series they know that that bowler is always going to come straight on when they come out to bat and that's probably the hardest time to bat when you first get out there, a bit of extra pressure, you just know you've got the wood on them."
Qantas tour of South Africa
South Africa squad: Faf du Plessis (c), Hashim Amla, Temba Bavuma, Quinton de Kock, Theunis de Bruyn, AB de Villiers, Dean Elgar, Heinrich Klaasen, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Morne Morkel, Wiaan Mulder, Lungi Ngidi, Vernon Philander, Kagiso Rabada.
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner (vc), Cameron Bancroft, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine, Jhye Richardson, Chadd Sayers, Mitchell Starc.
Warm-up match: Australia beat South Africa A by five wickets. Report, highlights
First Test Kingsmead, Durban, March 1-5. Live coverage
Second Test St George's Park, Port Elizabeth, March 9-13. Live coverage
Third Test Newlands, Cape Town, March 22-26. Live coverage
Fourth Test Wanderers, Johannesburg, March 30-April 3. Live coverage