McGrath backs Hazlewood, Joe Root to fire in Ashes

Sydney, June 18 (IANS) Australia legend Glenn McGrath on Thursday nominated a pair of young guns he expects to shine at the upcoming Ashes which is set to begin from July 8, namely pacer Josh Hazlewood and England batsman Joe Root.

McGrath believes the 24-year-old Hazlewood can deliver with the ball if given the opportunity from the first Test in Cardiff.

Hazlewood has played five Tests, collecting 25 wickets at an average of 19.08. He was involved in Australia’s 2-0 Test series against the West Indies recently.

“He’s pretty grounded now, he knows his game well, he’s a good country lad, he had a bit of a sniff of international cricket quite a few years back, now he’s got a second stint (which) makes you hungry,” McGrath was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“The way he goes about things is very good; keeps it simple, bowls good areas, gets a little bit of swing, bounce, and when you have that control it makes a big difference. He’s already had a little bit of success in the Test arena, a couple of five-fors under the belt.”

“He’s had a great start. He’s just been bowling incredibly well, hitting good areas. England will really suit his style of bowling down to the ground,” he added.

McGrath also believes England’s 24-year-old middle-order mainstay Joe Root as one man capable of causing the Australians headaches.

Root has begun his Test career in impressive fashion, already registering six hundreds in 27 matches, including 180 against the Australians during the 2013 series, and McGrath places him alongside a couple of England veterans as key wickets for the Aussie bowlers.

“Alastair Cook’s always a big key being the captain as well,” he said when asked who he would target this series.

“He’s found a bit of form of late so he’ll be important and the guys will be keen to get on top of him. Ian Bell has a lot of experience, but the guy who seems to be doing well for England of late is Joe Root,” he said.

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