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Tuesday July 23, 2024

Hazlewood doubts ‘drastic’ changes despite Australia World Cup exit

By AFP
June 26, 2024
Australias Josh Hazlewood catches the ball to dismiss Indias Rishabh Pant.— AFP/file
Australia's Josh Hazlewood catches the ball to dismiss India's Rishabh Pant.— AFP/file 

GROS-ISLET, Saint Lucia: Fast bowler Josh Hazlewood believes there is no “drastic” need to cull Australia´s ageing squad despite the failure to make the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup.

Australia´s 24-run loss to India on Monday pushed them to the brink of elimination from the last-four chase before Afghanistan´s dramatic victory against Bangladesh nudged them over the cliff.

By the time the next World Cup rolls around in India and Sri Lanka in 2026, only one of the current 15-man squad -- Cameron Green -- will still be well under 30. Green, a 24-year-old all-rounder, didn´t get to play a game in this World Cup.

“There might be a couple of changes, but a lot of the guys still play in the franchise cricket if they´re not playing for Australia, so they´re available to be picked,” said Hazlewood, himself 33.

“There´s some class players in our 15, And we´ve got a couple on the bench as well. So, you´d think it´d be an actual slow change. I don´t think there´d be anything drastic.” What does need drastic attention is Australia´s woeful performance in the field at the tournament.

Five catches were dropped in the 21-run defeat to Afghanistan in St Vincent. Skipper Mitchell Marsh dropped three in the group game against Scotland and crucially let the destructive Hardik Pandya off the hook in the loss to India.

Pandya went on to make an undefeated 27 off 17 balls. “The guys are always working as hard as ever on the fielding and training and there might not be as many opportunities to work on it around games in these sort of tournaments,” said Hazlewood.