‘Get close, knock it around or drag’

13 June,2024 06:47 AM IST |  Antigua  |  AFP

Australia’s Josh Hazlewood reveals team’s options in Sunday’s match against Scotland to facilitate England’s tournament exit, which can be made possible by letting Scots maintain impressive run-rate; fast bowler admits experiencing ‘real struggles’ against the old enemy led by Jos Buttler

Australia’s Josh Hazlewood celebrates with teammates after dismissing Nikolaas Davin of Namibia during the ICC T20 World Cup game at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua on June 11. Pic/Getty Images

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Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood believes, "it's in our best interest" to see defending champions and bitter rivals England suffer an early exit at the T20 World Cup, refusing to rule out manipulating the system to achieve their aim.

Australia have already secured their place in the Super Eights with three wins in three matches in Group B. England have just one point from two games and need to win their remaining two matches to join the Australians in the next phase. Scotland are currently second with five points and set to grab the remaining Super Eights spot. Australia and Scotland, who crucially have a vastly superior net run-rate to England, meet on Sunday at St Lucia. "In this tournament you potentially come up against England at some stage again and they're probably one of the top few teams on their day," said Hazlewood after Australia cruised past Namibia by nine wickets on Tuesday.

"We've had some real struggles against them in T20 cricket so if we can get them out of the tournament that's in our best interest. We've never really been in this position before as a team." Hazlewood insists Australia will go for a group clean sweep by beating Scotland, but with the temptation to help the Scots preserve their superior run rate over England. "Whether you get close and you just knock it around and drag it out. There's a few options there," he added.

Australia defeated England by 36 runs in Barbados last weekend after also seeing off Oman by 39 runs. England's game with Scotland was abandoned. The Scots then clinched convincing wins over Namibia and Oman. England face Oman in Antigua on Thursday and then Namibia on Saturday. Australia and Scotland will meet on Sunday after England have completed their group games.

Hazlewood: Net run-rate counting for nothing in Super 8s is strange

Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood finds it a bit strange that their superior net run-rate after three comprehensive wins will count for nothing in the Super 8 stage of the T20 World Cup. Considering it is the biggest-ever T20 showpiece with the involvement of 20 teams, the ICC created four groups of five teams, out of which two from each pool make the Super 8 stage of the tournament.

Thereafter, two groups of four will be formed to determine the semi-finalists of the competition. The format is different from the previous edition, when all the top teams began their competition in the Super 12 stage where two groups of six teams were created and top two from each pool made the semi-finals. "Yeah, it's a little bit strange that it doesn't really, it doesn't go through the tournament. This is probably the first T20 World Cup I've played that's set up this way, or first World Cup that's set up this way, so it's a little bit different," said Hazlewood.

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