Ashes 2017-18: Josh Hazlewood calls upon youngsters to step up, take pressure off David Warner, Steve Smith

Australian batsmen will have to put their hands up in the upcoming Ashes and take pressure off Steve Smith and David Warner, Josh Hazlewood has said.

FirstCricket Staff, October 04, 2017

Australian batsmen will have to put their hands up in the upcoming Ashes and take pressure off Steve Smith and David Warner, according to Josh Hazlewood.

In the last couple of years, Australia have been prone to collapses across formats. Right from the Sri Lanka tour in 2016 to the ongoing limited-over series against India, Smith's men have often succumbed to pressure and fell like nine pins. In such an adversity, the responsibility to score the bulk of runs have fallen upon Smith and Warner.

File image of Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood. Image courtesy: Twitter @cricketaus

File image of Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood. Image courtesy: Twitter @cricketaus

To avoid such a scenario in the Ashes, Hazlewood has called upon the youngsters to step up.

"When they put up those stats up of hundreds scored over the last three or four years, it really does show that Smith and Warner score the bulk of those. I think it's a case of a couple of young guys standing up." Hazlewood said to Sky Sports Radio.

He also added that Usman Khawaja could play a big role. Khawaja has had a lacklustre 2017 and featured only twice for Australia in the longest format. But that was also down to his poor record in Asia. Out of the two Tests that he played, one was in Australia, in which the southpaw scored an unbeaten 79. Besides that, it is quite known that Khawaja prefers batting on the hard and bouncy Australian tracks.

"It's going to be a big series for Usman Khawaja. He's obviously fantastic on home soil, he's very confident of his ability here. I think (Peter) Handscomb and (Matt) Renshaw can hopefully stand up and put some big scores on the board. Take that bit of pressure off the skipper and vice-captain." Hazlewood remarked.

While, Australia might have a slightly weak batting department, they go into the Ashes as favourites. Currently, England are also heavily dependent on Alastair Cook and Joe Root when it comes to batting. To make matters worse, there is a cloud hanging over Ben Stokes' participation in the tournament.

The first Test of the Ashes will start on 23 November at The Gabba. Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney will host the remaining four matches.

Updated Date: Oct 04, 2017





Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 3634 125
2 South Africa 3589 112
3 Australia 3499 106
4 New Zealand 2354 102
5 England 3772 97
6 Sri Lanka 2914 94
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 5751 125
2 India 5492 122
3 South Africa 3842 113
4 New Zealand 4602 112
5 Pakistan 3279 102
6 Australia 3548 101
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 3270 131
2 Australia 1894 126
3 India 3932 123
4 New Zealand 2542 116
5 England 1951 115
6 South Africa 2058 114