‘Someone has got to bring up the rear’: Hazlewood knocks back numbers chat after joining elite club


Josh Hazlewood says he’s not a numbers guy. So he’s not going to rave about joining a rare club in Australian cricket: bowlers with 250 or more Test wickets.

Hazlewood achieved the milestone on Australia’s dominant opening day of the first Test against the West Indies in Adelaide.

The Australians bowled the tourists out for 188 and will resume at 2-59 on Thursday.

Hazlewood’s milestone wicket was among a haul of 4-44 and he’s the 11th Australian with 250 or more Test victims.

The 33-year-old joins his current bowling teammates Nathan Lyon (510 wickets), Mitchell Starc (346) and Pat Cummins (262) in achieving the feat – it’s the first time in Test history the same team boasts four bowlers in the 250-plus club.

“Someone has got to bring up the rear, I guess,” Hazlewood said with a wry grin.

The 67-Test veteran said “a number doesn’t really mean much to me, to be honest”.

“I never really look at milestones too often,” Hazlewood said.

“It’s just about doing my role for the team each time I go and play.

“And try and keep my best and worst spells really close together which I hope I can do for the rest of my career – as I’ve done hopefully for the start.

“But I don’t look at numbers too much.

“Just putting that ball in the right area. I know it sounds cliche but that’s my role for the team, keep it dry, pick up the odd wicket, let a few of the other boys attack.

“But yeah, it’s good to be part of the group though.”

Hazlewood now boasts 253 Test wickets at an average of 25.71 and has taken five or more wickets in an innings 10 times.

But the Tamworth-born quick said his sole current focus was helping Australia win the first Test in Adelaide.

The Australians enter day two firmly in control, with Usman Khawaja unbeaten on 30 and Cameron Green not out six.

Steve Smith made only 12 in his first innings as a Test opener, dismissed by the first ball delivered in Test cricket by West Indian Shamar Joseph.

“I had a few conversations with the boys in the dressing room, I told him that I would get a wicket on my first ball, but I didn’t know it was Steve Smith,” Joseph said.

Joseph also dismissed Marnus Labuschagne, caught on the fine leg boundary for 10 from a hook shot, and has 2-18.

Joseph’s feats with the ball followed his 36 with the bat at No.11, the second-highest score in the West Indian innings behind Kirk McKenzie’s 50.

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