Josh Hazlewood, who ran through India’s middle-order on Day 3 and ended with figures of 5/8, revealed that the Aussie pacers consciously pitched the ball fuller in search of wickets, a ploy that eventually aided them. Hazlewood claimed that he is still pinching himself after skittling India for 36.
When India started Day 3 on 9/1, batting with the sun belting out, they were aiming to post a score somewhere around 200 to stretch their lead past 250, but what instead unfolded was a passage of play that is, to this very moment, unfathomable. After losing nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah in the second over of the day, the quartet of Agarwal, Pujara, Kohli and Rahane perished in the next five overs for scores of 9, 0, 4, and 0, leaving the visitors in the deepest of holes at 19/6. India would, astonishingly, go on to add just 17 more runs, posting the lowest Test total in their history.
One of the architects of the Indian massacre on Saturday was pacer Josh Hazlewood, who finished with scarcely believable figures of 5/8, running through the middle-order. Speaking post-match, Hazlewood revealed that the Aussie seamers adopted a conscious approach to bowl full to get the most out of a wicket which, according to him, had considerably quickened up.
“The wicket quickened up definitely. We bowled a touch fuller, gave the ball air to swing, and got the results,” Hazlewood told Sony post the conclusion of the first Test.
Heading into Day 3, Australia were, if anything, on the brink of a defeat, but the great Indian collapse ensured that they walked away with the Test in under four hours. Hazlewood said that he was struggling to comprehend the happenings on Day 3, but insisted that it was the Aussie bowlers’ discipline that strangled the Indians.
“Still pinching myself (about how quickly the wickets fell). Little bit (smiles, asked if he emulated Glenn McGrath style of bowling today). I try to do that every time I bowl to be honest. We bowled a little bit fuller and straighter and there you go... all out for 36, good result. Ready to go from ball one makes a lot of difference, can go wrong if you take two three balls to warm up. That one boundary early on for the batsman can make a difference.”
The teams will now head to Victoria for the second Test which will be played at the MCG, a historically flat wicket, and the 29-year-old hoped for the MCG track to offer assistance to the seamers.
“Hope for a bit more grass on (for the rest of the series). We have got a blueprint from this game as to how we should go about it.”