n fast bowler Josh Hazlewood is on track to return to national duty against South Africa.Josh Hazlewood is unsure who will be vice-captain of ‘s ODI side but fully confident he’ll be fit to face South Africa, having blown out the cobwebs while bowling for NSW’s second XI.
The workloads of star pacemen Hazlewood and Pat Cummins, who haven’t played for since the scandal-plagued Test series in South Africa, are being carefully monitored ahead of the ODI series that starts in Perth on November 4.
They each delivered 22 overs during this week’s Futures League fixture in western Sydney, the biggest test of their fitness since suffering back injuries earlier this year.
Hazlewood suggested he and Cummins passed with flying colours and are on track to face the Proteas.
“There’s the usual general soreness after a four-day game but things are going really well. The body feels pretty good and I’m pretty happy with how Pat and I went,” Hazlewood told AAP.
“We both got out of it what we wanted.
“There’s another second XI game next week. They’re just weighing up now whether we actually need to play it, we spent close to 200 overs in the field and bowled 20-odd overs, so it’s a nice build up for South Africa.”
Hazlewood and allrounder Mitch Marsh were appointed vice-captains of the Test side prior to the current two-match series in the UAE.
Aaron Finch will lead the national Twenty20 team, with Marsh and Alex Carey to serve as deputies, in the series against Pakistan that follows the second Test.
Tim Paine is the incumbent ODI captain but there is widespread speculation he could be dumped, allowing Carey to take the wicketkeeping gloves in the 50-over format as selectors start fine-tuning plans for next year’s World Cup.
Hazlewood is unsure whether he will be part of the formal ODI leadership group.
“I’m not too worried about whether I’m named vice-captain or not,” he said.
“It’s probably been my longest break not putting on an n cap.
“I’ve missed a little bit of ODI cricket through being rested and injured during the last couple of years, so I’m just looking forward to getting out there and being really fresh for a white-ball series.
“It rarely happens … Patty and I have talked a lot about it. We can’t wait.”