Australia quick Josh Hazlewood believes the forthcoming four-Test series against the Proteas could be ‘tougher than the Ashes’.
‘The Ashes is obviously a different prospect, and at home the crowds were massive, the media hype was big and it was a great series to be a part of,’ he said in Durban ahead of the first Test, starting Thursday.
‘But I think this series is going to be a lot tougher cricket,’ he said, with a wry reference to the 4-0 win over England. ‘When it comes to intensity,’ he added, ‘I think it’s going to match it, if not even surpass it.
‘It’s overseas for us and we’ve obviously struggled overseas in the last couple of years, so it’s a good opportunity in sort of familiar conditions, a bit like Australia, to put our best foot forward and come home with the trophy.’
It was a sentiment echoed by fellow fast bowler Pat Cummins.
‘I think there’s always a couple of series a year where the whole cricketing world turns to and it feels like this series is going to be one,’ Cummins told cricket.com.au.
‘I feel like we play a similar brand of cricket, both try to be quite aggressive and brave and take the game on. Both teams have some fast bowlers that want to bowl fast and intimidate the batsmen.
“I think it’s going to be a great series.’
In their last seven visits to South Africa, Australia have not lost a Test series, winning five and drawing twice.
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