Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood has said he is hoping for England to stun India in the ongoing four-match Test series, so that the Tim Paine-led side manages to reach the final of the World Test Championship (WTC). Earlier, Australia’s three-match series against South Africa got postponed due to Covid-19, and as a result, the side is now dependent on England in order to play the WTC final against New Zealand. If England wins the series 2-1 or the series stands level at 1-1 or 2-2, then Australia will make the WTC finals. “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. It’s a strange feeling, although just being beaten by India you don’t mind … going for England,” Hazlewood said to Unplayable Podcast, as reported by cricket.com.au.
India remains in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship, after completing an impressive victory over England in the second Test to draw level in the four-match series. The victory in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted India to the second position with 69.7 percentage points on the points table, but they cannot afford to lose another match as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship.
On the other hand, England will make the final of WTC if they win the ongoing four-match series against India by a margin of 3-1.
Asked about the postponement of the series against Proteas, Hazlewood said: “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. 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,” he added.
India had defeated Australia 2-1 in the Border Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year. The visitors lost the first Test after being bowled out for 36, but under Ajinkya Rahane, India managed to win the matches at Melbourne and Brisbane.
“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,” said Hazlewood.
“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 with how we went about it, just got beaten by a better team on the day,” he added.