The England cricket team has got an unexpected supporter to cheer for them on their four-match Test series against India. Australian pacer Josh Hazelwood is hoping for England to do a ‘good job’ in defeating India 2-1 as it would raise the chances of Australia to make it into the ICC World Test Championship finals.
After a resounding victory over Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy that concluded last month, India pushed Australia to the third place in the ICC WTC points table. Additionally, the Cricket Australia also pulled out of the South Africa tour that comprised a four-match Test series which trimmed Australia’s chances of entering the ICC WTC finals to face New Zealand.
Now Australia’s only chance to enter the WTC finals rides on the shoulders of the England team. If the Joe Root-led side defeats the ‘Men in Blue’ 2-1 or the series gets levelled at 1-1 or 2-2, the second entrant to the finals would be Australia.
“I probably wouldn’t be watching it at all in normal cases. But we’re riding the result a bit and just keeping an eye on it here and there and hopefully, England can do a good job for us,” Hazlewood said on The Unplayable Podcast.
“You never want to miss a Test tour which is probably why it was such a difficult decision and it really hurts our chances in the Test Championship as well,” he said.
“It takes that (playing in the final) out of our hands and we have to watch this series going on now (in India) and focus on that and try and get the right result there. It’s disappointing we could potentially miss out on that (the WTC final) and that’s why it was such a difficult decision to make.”
Speaking on their resounding defeat against India in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at their home turf, Hazelwood said that the team reviewed the matches carefully and added that they did not back off from putting in their best efforts. He also gave credit to the Indian cricket team for playing beautifully especially, in the last match of the Test series.
“We tried our best at the time and looking back we could have done a few things differently here and there, obviously in those last two games. But I think Melbourne goes under the radar a bit too, we didn’t play great cricket there and got beaten pretty comprehensively.
“The last two Tests we were frontrunning the whole game, didn’t quite get there in Sydney and they played beautifully the last day in Brisbane. But in general, pretty proud of how we went about it, just got beaten by a better team on the day,” Hazelwood concluded.
For England to make it into the finals of the WTC, they need to defeat India by a margin of 3-1. In the ongoing series, both the teams have won one match each and the series is leveled at 1-1.