Australia captain Aaron Finch revealed that Josh Hazlewood’s impressive show in the IPL 2021 for the Chennai Super Kings forced them to pick the lanky pacer over T20 specialist Kane Richardson in the eleven at the T20 World Cup.
Hazlewood had played only 9 T20Is till 2020, having made his debut way back in 2013. However, he has been involved in the shortest format since last year. This year he toured West Indies and Bangladesh before showing up in the second half of the IPL 2021 in the UAE, where he snapped 11 wickets in 9 matches for CSK in the team’s run to the title.
At the T20 World Cup as well, Hazlewood was instrumental in Australia’s success, picking wickets in the powerplay with the new ball and then later in the death as well. In a high-scoring final against New Zealand, Hazlewood returned with terrific figures of 3/16, which included the wicket of a set Kane Williamson.
“Yeah, he was really important with our bowling group. He shared his experience of CSK which was really important. To be able to bowl particularly at the end of the tournament where the wickets started to get more worn and hard length, which is Josh’s speciality, I guess, was tough to hit. Yeah, that was really important that he passed on that information,” Aaron Finch said at the post-match presenation.
“Honestly, his performances in the IPL probably forced his way into the starting 11 over Kane Richardson who is a wonderful T20 bowler and someone who has been so important for us. But yeah, that was a tough call.”
Toss did play a big factor: Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch had immense success with luck in the tournament: he won six out of seven tosses, including in the final, as Australia won all their games while chasing. The right-hander asserted that winning the toss in the UAE conditions was a “big factor” in Australia’s triumph.
“It did play a big factor, to be honest. I tried to play it down as much as I could because I thought, ‘at some point in the tournament, I’m going to lose a toss and we’ll have to bat first’. But it did play a big part. You saw out there at the end there the dew factor: the slower balls weren’t holding in the wicket as much. I don’t know how I did it – maybe it was just fate,” the Aussie skipper said.
New Zealand now have lost the 2009 Champions Trophy final, 2015 ODI World Cup final and the 2021 T20 World Cup final – all to Australia.
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