West Indies v Australia ODIs - Men's
Hazlewood eyes T20 gains after Aussie pace masterclass
Stand-in skipper Alex Carey heaps praise on Australia's opening bowlers, but Hazlewood concedes he took some valuable lessons from the 20-over games
Louis Cameron in Barbados
21 July 2021, 02:56 PM AEST
Josh Hazlewood was back to his spellbinding best in Australia's first-up one-day international trouncing of West Indies, but the paceman admits he has room for improvement in the shortest format.
A dominant opening blitz from Hazlewood (3-11 from six overs) and player-of-the-match Mitchell Starc (5-48 from eight) that brought the Windies to their knees in the ODI series-opener allowed the Aussies to record a comfortable 133-run win.
A Test mainstay, Hazlewood is relishing the chance to embark on a rare extended run of white-ball cricket as he eyes off a T20 World Cup berth later this year.
The right-armer was Australia's best with the ball in the opening game of the recent T20I series against West Indies but was not as effective in the matches that followed.
He returned combined figures of 1-104 from 11 overs in the three games he played after taking 3-12 in the first T20I as the Aussies lost the series 1-4.
"I just mis-executed a few times," Hazlewood told cricket.com.au. "I think my plans are really good, I just didn't execute at the right times.
"I certainly bowled some good overs here and there but went for some big ones here and there too. But the West Indies, that's probably the way they play as well.
"They're a power outfit and we knew that going in. You're probably not going to face more daunting guys than those guys in that format. (There were) some good lessons there."
After going almost four years without playing a T20 after the 2016 World T20, Hazlewood has gradually gained more experience in the shortest format, though he had still played just nine international T20s coming into this tour.
There has been a school of thought that his biggest strength in Tests, his ability to maintain an impeccable length for long periods, can actually be a weakness in T20s, where bowlers are loathe to be predictable.
Asked if there was there any merit to that, Hazlewood conceded: "It can be.
"When the wickets are really nice and the ball is not swinging or doing anything off the wicket, it can become a weakness.
"That's just about me becoming a bit more proactive before I get hit off my length. It's about learning that as well – I haven't played many T20s for Australia so it's a good position to be in to play a couple on the bounce and in Bangladesh as well (after this tour).
"It's good to just to get a run of one-day and T20 cricket. Normally (they come) on the back of a Test series and you're pretty much cooked coming into it, and you're just getting through it game by game.
"To play these games nice and fresh, against a quality outfit, holds you in really good stead."
For the rest of the one-day series, the combination of Starc and Hazlewood looms as Australia's trump card given they will continue to be without five first-choice batters should injured skipper Aaron Finch not return.
The pair's contrasting, and complementary, styles were evident in the opening ODI as the Windies slumped to 6-27 inside eight overs.
Hazlewood was near-impossible to get away, going for just five runs from his first five overs, allowing Starc to be his aggressive self in going for a few more runs (29 from his first five) while being a constant wicket-taking threat.
The left-armer took three in his first 16 balls, including a sensational in-swinger that clean bowled No.3 Jason Mohammed, before returning to remove top-scorer captain Kieron Pollard and No.10 Akeal Hosein to complete his eighth ODI five-for.
"I probably haven't seen a Powerplay like that before," said first-time captain Alex Carey of the duo. "When they get it right, we know how damaging they are.
"We know with Mitchell Starc, when he gets it right it's going to be too good for anyone in the world.
"We understand that he's going to swing it back early and try and take the stumps and he did that tonight. He attacks, he understands that at times he may go for a few runs.
"But we're willing to take them when you've got a guy like Josh Hazlewood bashing away, (aiming for the) top of off, getting the ball to move off the straight.
"We've seen with Josh in all formats how accurate he is. It makes my job easier standing behind the stumps, knowing what Starcy's going to do and knowing what Josh is going to do."
Qantas Tour of the West Indies 2021
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey (vc for ODIs), Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade (vc for T20Is), Adam Zampa. Travelling reserves: Nathan Ellils, Tanveer Sangha.
West Indies ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Shai Hope (vc), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Anderson Phillip, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd
T20 series: West Indies won 4-1
(all matches at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia)
First T20: West Indies won by 18 runs
Second T20: West Indies won by 56 runs
Third T20: West Indies won by six wickets
Fourth T20: Australia won by four runs
Fifth T20: West Indies won by 16 runs
ODI series (all matches at Kensington Oval, Barbados)
First ODI: Australia won by 133 runs
Second ODI (D/N): July 23, 4.30am AEST (July 22, 2.30pm local)
Third ODI (D/N): July 25, 4.30am AEST (July 24, 2.30pm local)
* Details of five-match T20 tour of Bangladesh are yet to be announced by the Bangladesh Cricket Board. Tours are subject to agreement on bio-security arrangements and relevant government approvals.