Richard Hadlee
Richard Hadlee

New Zealand legendary bowler Richard Hadlee appreciates Hazlewood as the complete bowler. Hazlewood bags the victory for Aussies with his 5 wicket haul in the 1st test against India.

Richard Hadlee’s eyes swept around the charming Hagley Oval where New Zealand was gradually asserting itself over India in the second Test earlier this year.

The Kiwi pace bowling legend was following the action from his seat in the pavilion, his gaze picking out little, not-so-obvious elements from the middle.

Surprise pick

And his mind was ticking too. He had been posed a question by the Hindu, on who he thought was the finest contemporary paceman.

Hadlee’s reply was as straight as his bowling was. And his pick-Josh Hazlewood – could have surprised many.

After all, there were more high-profile names around.

The great Hadlee’s reasoning was simple. “I love his simplicity,” he said. Hadlee observerd: “He is tall, runs in straight, good action and hits the stumps. Line and length, good place,  good variations.”

The Kiwi legend added, “He makes the batsman play, he is on or around the off-stump, and moves it both ways.”

The attributes Hadlee mentioned sounded simple but required a vital quality-control. To attain this, Hazlewood must have toiled countless hours at the nets.

On the third day of the first Test, when he blew away much of the Indian bating with a stunning five for eight, all these elements were on view.

He attained accuracy from his first delivery. He ran in smoothly, delivered from slightly wide of the stumps, hit the good length area on the off-stump – this meant the batsman had to play the delivery – and got the ball to straighten or move slightly away.

His height and high –arm action fetched bounce, even from the good length area. And the edges flew thick and fast.

The Indian batsmen, lacking footwork, were in two minds – whether to play forward or back. By then, the pacey deliveries had found the nick.

Richard Hadlee claims Hazlewood as Complete bowler

Hazlewood
Hazlewood

The 29-year-old Hazlewood is a complete bowler; he swings and seams it both ways, has accuracy and speed, and can hustle batsmen with short-pitched stuff.

Not surprisingly snother an who keeps it simple, the formidable former Aussie pace predator Glenn McGrath said: “Hazlewood reminds me of myself. He bowls a mean off-stump line, doesn’t give away anything, builds pressure, can bowl in partnerships,”

Hazlewood keeps it simple with laser-guided precision. And the results are devastating.