Hazlewood eyes leadership role in Australia's Test setup

Josh Hazlewood has thrown his hat into the ring for a leadership role in the current Australian setup. The pacer has shown interest in being Tim Paine’s deputy in the Australian Test side and is competing with Mitchell Marsh for the role.

“I would love to do it. It’s a great opportunity to get one of the bowlers in there, get our point of view of what’s happening out on the field and so on,” he told Australian Cricketers’ Association on Saturday (August 4). “It would be exciting to get the role. It brings the best out in players, as we saw with Smithy his batting went to another level when he became captain.

“We’ve got that senior group of four or five players there who’ve played a lot of cricket now. Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, myself and Tim Paine. I think it’ll be fine whoever gets the job.

“I guess I have been around the team for quite a while now, played 40 or so Test matches. It’s quite a young group once you take those senior guys out. Being a bowler, it would be good to have one of us in the captaincy.”

With Steve Smith and David Warner banned for a year, there’s a void in the leadership in the Australian sides with Paine being asked to carry the side forward. However, the performances of the team have dipped considerably and they’ve been on the receiving end more often than not. Pat Cummins, though, had no doubts that Hazlewood is the perfect candidate for the role.

“Sometimes (fast bowlers are) pretty cooked (after bowling) and we just watch the game and start to get our heads around having to bat or recovering from bowling,” he told cricket.com.au. “But he’s straight there watching, and he has some really good ideas about how to approach an innings.

“He’s a really good thinker, but at the same time he’s really chilled out and relaxed and really professional in everything he does. (As a bowler) you’ve got to know your own game, but you’ve got to know what batsmen are going to do as well. Whether he’s got a title next to his name or not, as a leader, that’s what he brings.

“He can speak about other batsmen and think like a batsman, even if it’s through bowling to them rather than being a batsman himself.”

Australia’s next Test assignment is when they take on India the home series from November this year.

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