Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) seamer Josh Hazlewood has started training as he aims to play his first IPL 2023 game. The franchise’s official Twitter handle posted a picture of the same.
The 32-year-old is one of RCB’s first-choice bowlers and was retained ahead of the 2023 edition after bagging 20 wickets in 12 matches last year. However, the right-arm seamer hasn’t played a competitive game since January due to an Achilles injury.
He was in the squad for the four-Test series in India, but returned without playing a game.
Hazlewood’s return would boost RCB a lot as they have struggled with death bowling greatly this season. Their three losses – against the Lucknow Super Giants, Chennai Super Kings, and Kolkata Knight Riders – came on the back of poor death bowling.
“Hopefully, he gets a few games over there” – George Bailey on Josh Hazlewood
While announcing the squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final and the Ashes, Australia’s chief selector George Bailey spoke about Josh Hazlewood.
The former Aussie international stated that they are hoping that Hazlewood’s IPL workload leads him towards full recovery ahead of a gruelling winter in England. As quoted by Cricbuzz, he said:
“Josh Hazlewood is still building back to his full capacity through the IPL, so hopefully he gets a few games over there in the back half of that tournament and starts to ramp up his return. He knows exactly what and where he’ll need to be to be at his best for the Ashes. He will be building, in some ways, that sort of smaller workload through four-over bursts in the IPL might be a nice build for him.”
The New South Welshman took 20 wickets in four Tests in the 2019 Ashes series as it ended in a 2-2 draw. The WTC final against India gets underway on June 7 at The Oval, while the Ashes start on the 16th of the same month at Edgbaston. Australia last won a series on English soil in 2001.
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