Hazlewood to launch bid for T20 World Cup berth
With almost 200 Test wickets under his belt, Josh Hazlewood doesn't need to audition for any role in Australian cricket.
But that's the role the big paceman now finds himself in as he prepares to play his first T20 match in almost four years.
Coffs Harbour will be the unlikely venue for his return to the shortest form of the game when he lines up for the Sydney Sixers against the Adelaide Strikers today - thanks to a hamstring injury that has delivered an unexpected silver lining.
Ruled out of the series against New Zealand, the injury has given Hazlewood the chance to return to the Big Bash, partly to prove his fitness for the upcoming one-day tour of India but also to re-establish his credentials in T20 ahead of this year's World Cup, being held in Australia.
"I'm pretty excited because I haven't played T20 since the (2016) World Cup in India, and it was a decent gap before that as well," he told The Sunday Telegraph.
"(This year's T20 World Cup) is certainly on the radar, which is why I'm playing a few Big Bash games and obviously why I put myself back in the IPL, just to get some good opportunities.
"They're a pretty settled team at the moment Australia but you never know with injuries and things like that so the more T20s I can play in the next six to eight months the better."
The 28-year-old was only given the all clear to return for the Sixers after passing a fitness test at the SCG on Friday and he is expected to also play in the return match the Strikers in Adelaide next week before heading to India.
Despite his formidable record, making the Australian side is anything but a gimme now with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and James Pattinson all bowling the house down against the Kiwis and Hazlewood has more incentive than ever after being overlooked for last year's ODI World Cup.
"Hoff" knows there's not enough room for four quicks in the same XI so he has to hit the ground running if he wants to fight his way back into the line-up and that's exactly what he plans to do.
"We're all really good mates and it's not often that all four of us are up and running at the same time because there's usually one of us coming back from injury or being injured," he said.
"I think the Ashes was probably the first time that we were already to go and all up and running so some tough calls had to be made.
"But the competition for places just keeps everyone on their toes and keeps making you work hard to be better, which is great.
"It's a pretty tough spot to get back into it in India against probably one of the best teams so it's good competition and I'm really looking forward to it."