Aussies handed Hazlewood fitness lift
Josh Hazlewood has told Australia's selectors that he expects to play in the remaining two Ashes Tests despite his recent back injury.
The 28-year-old fast bowler was a big miss for Australia's 50-over team in the World Cup earlier in the summer as he was making his recovery from his back issues.
Hazlewood was forced to miss the Baggy Greens' first Test win at Edgbaston, but returned for the second Test at Lord's.
He took three wickets in the weather-affected drawn Test, before producing an impressive performance at Headingley where he took 9-115.
Despite Hazelwood's efforts, he still ended up on the losing team as Ben Stokes' heroics guided England to an unlikely victory.
But much will be expected of him ahead of the remaining Tests - at Old Trafford this week and the Oval from September 12 - with the series finely poised at 1-1.
And, when asked how he was feeling ahead of the fourth Test in Manchester from Wednesday, Hazlewood said: "The body's really good. I felt a lot better at Headingley than Lord's, just getting those miles into the legs in that first Test [back]," he said.
"I think I'm not trying to do too much, trying to be pretty simple, not trying and swing the ball at all really, occasionally I do when it gets a bit older.
"But just hitting that right length with the new ball, making them play, not trying and do too much, keep it simple."
On the possibility of him being able to play in both Tests on the back of his injury problems, he added: "I can't see why not, unless we bowl a mountain of overs in the next game, but body's feeling really good and happy to play both if possible."
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.