Australian cricket legend Ian Chappell relishes the sight of Josh Hazlewood’s epic battle with Virat Kohli and likens it to a yesteryear clash of the game’s greats.
When Josh Hazlewood had Virat Kohli caught behind in the third one-day international on Wednesday, it meant the star Australian paceman had dismissed the Indian batting maestro four times in seven ODIs.
While Glenn McGrath’s ODI record against Brian Lara doesn’t stand out in the books, no bowler dismissed the former West Indian champion more times in Test cricket than McGrath.
Lara was dismissed by McGrath 15 times in 24 Tests and was the second victim of his Test hat-trick at the WACA in 2000.
Chappell sees striking similarities between Hazlewood’s duel with Kohli and the well-documented McGrath-Lara arm-wrestle.
“One of the reasons why people go to games is to watch a contest between a really good bowler and a really good batsmen,” Chappell told Wide World of Sports.
“I really enjoyed those contests between McGrath and Lara, the same as I enjoy seeing Hazlewood against Kohli.”
Despite Hazlewood’s shining record against Kohli in ODI cricket, the Indian captain had an average of 54.81 against Australia heading into Wednesday’s fixture.
He had also notched 10 half-centuries and eight tons from his 41 innings against the Australians, with his top score 123 not out in Ranchi in March 2019.
Chappell says it’s Hazlewood’s consistency that makes him successful against Kohli.
“He’s a very consistent bowler, Hazlewood, and I think he surprises batsmen a little bit with his pace,” Chappell said.
“I think he did that to Kohli in the game in Sydney. But his biggest strength is his consistency. Everything about his bowling is consistent: his action, his length and he doesn’t give you any easy runs to score. And with that ability to also get a little bit of movement he’s a tough customer.
“(Mitchell) Starc in the first two games of the series was very erratic. When that’s happening you get opportunities to score and that’s not what you want to be doing with a guy like Kohli.”