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Hazlewood rubs it in: India's plan to get aggressive with Johnson backfired

Melbourne: Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood yesterday began playing mind games ahead of the crucial third Test beginning Boxing Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground here, saying his team has the psychological edge over India.

Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood
Australian pace bowler Josh Hazlewood holds the ball aloft after taking five wickets on debut during the Brisbane Test on December 18, 2014. Pic:AP/PTI.

"We're obviously 2-0 up and I guess it backfired on them a little bit at the Gabba with them trying to get stuck into us and Mitch (Johnson) fired back," Hazlewood was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald. Hazlewood, who made his debut in the second Test against India at the Gabba, said he was inspired by the red-hot form of the leader of their pace attack — Mitchell Johnson.

"It was good to see him pick up a few wickets in the second innings and really fire up and bowl fast. Hopefully, he can do that again this week," he said. "He's obviously the leader of the attack and it's pretty easy to follow him when he's going like that so it's a privilege to bowl at the other end when he's fit and firing."

Dream start
Hazlewood got a dream start to his Test career, picking up five wickets in the first innings and a match total of seven scalps at Brisbane in the second Test. But insisted he wasn't feeling the pressure of expectations after such a bright start.

"I haven't thought too much about that. Someone's got to take five wickets and luckily it was me on debut," the 23-year-old said. "But it could be someone else's turn this week and I'm just trying to keep bowling good overs and good spells and keep that pressure on the batting side so that's all I can do."

Australia are currently leading the four-match series 2-0.

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