Josh Hazlewood

Red-hot Hazlewood in career-best form

Fast bowler confident ahead of maiden Sri Lanka expedition, while Peter Siddle is rapt with how his Aussie teammate is going

Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood believes he is bowling as well as ever as he prepares to set off for the Qantas tour of Sri Lanka at the end of the week.

Hazlewood, named man of the series after capturing 11 wickets during the ODI tri-series in the Caribbean last month, now hopes to replicate that form on subcontinent pitches during the Qantas tour of Sri Lanka.

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It will be new ground for the quick, who has never played cricket in Sri Lanka before, but Hazlewood is confident he can thrive during the two-month tour, which features three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s.

"I think so," Hazlewood said when asked if he was in career-best form.

"The rhythm feels really good. I think (my form is down to) just the continuous cricket, getting on the park and knowing what you can control with your body, how you're feeling.

"You’re obviously a lot stronger the older you get. Coming into your prime years now 25 onwards makes a big difference in what you can do.

"I feel like I'm bowling really well even though in those conditions it didn't quite suit me."

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Despite being only 25 years old and with just 17 Tests under his belt, Hazlewood has emerged as a leader of the Australian attack, particularly during the six-month period Mitchell Starc spent sidelined through injury.

That leadership - and his recent outstanding form – has not been lost on his Australian teammates.

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"I think he’s starting to turn the corner with his consistency and starting to understand his body and the game of cricket and Test match cricket," fellow fast bowler Peter Siddle, who is missing the Sri Lanka tour as he continues to recover from a back injury, told

"It’s obviously a hard task to combine it all with the rigours of one-day and T20, there’s so much to be played and it’s hard to maintain it all.

"But he’s got a good balance and it’s working for him and his performances are showing that. He had a good Test series in the West Indies (last year) and followed it up with a good one-day series this year.

"He’s come a long way (and) it’s great to see, he’s a great teammate and friend. He’s a leader, he’s always had that more mature, wiser head on him.

"He’s been great to have around the group, his cricket brain mixed with the older guys and the captaincy of Steve, it’s a very wise group even though it’s a young group, it’s a wise with a lot of cricket experience there and they understand the game well."

Hazlewood joins call to limit big bats

While Hazlewood will be tackling unfamiliar conditions in Sri Lanka, he hopes his recent success in the Caribbean will go a long way to helping him adjust, while he has also turned to his teammates for advice.

"I think the conditions will be a little bit similar actually, the wickets we played on in the West Indies were a little bit slow and I think they'll be similar in Sri Lanka,” Hazlewood said.

"I think it was a good lead-in to get some good bowling on those sorts of surfaces.

"I've been talking a bit to Nathan Lyon and guys who have played in those conditions, and our support staff who have obviously bowled in those conditions, so it’s good to talk to them and learn a bit about those wickets."

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But he’s not expecting it to be easy during the three-Test series, where matches will be played in Kandy, Galle and Colombo.

"A couple of the wickets will be quite tough, quite hard work for the quicks. Colombo especially probably doesn't offer too much for quicks, but up in Kandy it could suit us and it could seam."

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