The pair return to South Africa to face the Proteas for the first time since their infamous part in ‘SandpaperGate’ after which they were heavily criticised as well as sanctioned by both Cricket Australia and the ICC.
‘Think Steve and Dave have ticked off pretty much every box since coming back and this is just another one of those; don’t think it will faze them one bit,’ Hazlewood said.
‘They probably play better when it’s like this, probably try and take as much heat as they can and keep the younger guys out of the spotlight. It’s nothing we haven’t experienced before; it’s quite a long time ago now and a lot of different players from that Test team.’
Hazlewood, who will only arrive in SA for the ODI series, believes the pair know the best way to quash any lingering animosity over the issue.
‘They’ll probably try to take as much heat as they can actually, try to keep the young guys out of the spotlight. Think just join in and have a good time with them [crowd]. Often when you do that, they’ll be on your side after half an hour. It is when you fight them it becomes quite abusive. Ride the storm and go along with it – that’s what’s worked best for me.’
Australia face the Proteas in three T20Is on 21 (Johannesburg), 23 (Port Elizabeth) and 26 February (Cape Town), followed by a three-match ODI series on 29 February (Paarl), 4 (Bloemfontein) and 7 March (Potchefstroom).
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