Australia quick Josh Hazlewood is aiming to maintain his dominance over Hashim Amla in the first Test starting in Durban on Thursday.
Amla endured a torrid time against Hazlewood when South Africa toured there in 2016, being dismissed by the fiery bowler in all five of his innings. Amla’s highest score was 47, sandwiched by 0, 1, 5 and 45, but in a ball-by-ball analysis against Hazlewood – courtesy of cricket.com.au – the elegant right-hander scored just 23 runs off 49 balls.
Hazlewood was quick to temper his enthusiasm after training in Durban, saying, ‘He’s obviously a class player, everyone knows that, and his record speaks for itself. To get him out, you have to have patience.’
But at the same time, he added, ‘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.
‘I’m just lucky enough to maybe ”have the wood” on him at the moment.
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‘It’s a great feeling. 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.’
When Mitchell Starc was asked how to dismiss Amla, he replied: ‘I’m going to tap Josh Hazlewood on the shoulder and go, ”Here, mate, he’s all yours”.’
But they may take note that Amla comes into the series with three-half centuries in his past four Test knocks under his belt.