The Test series between South Africa and Australia which begins on Thursday is one that promises to be an exciting affair. Both the teams boast of some brilliant talent in their ranks who can be match-winners on their day and have been in good form in the longer format of the game. Hence, a fiercely contested battle is expected to be on the cards. While the Proteas will be buoyed after beating India, the Kangaroos have begun the tour on a positive note after beating South Africa A at Willowmoore Park, Benoni in the only practice match. However, before the first Test at Durban, Aussie seamer Josh Hazelwood has made a bold claim that the series will be tough and its popularity could surpass the Ashes.
In a conversation with cricket.com.au, Hazelwood compared the levels of intensity of the South Africa tour with the Ashes and said, “I think it’s going to match it if not even surpass it.”
“The Ashes is obviously a different prospect, and at home the crowds were massive, the media hype was big and it was a great series to be a part of. But I think this series is going to be a lot tougher cricket. It’s overseas for us and we’ve obviously struggled overseas in the last couple of years, so it’s a good opportunity in a sort of familiar conditions, a bit like Australia, to put our best foot forward and come home with the trophy,” Hazelwood added.
Echoing Hazelwood’s viewpoint, teammate Mitchell Starc said that it will be a big series for both the teams. “It’s going to be big. South Africa beat us at home and now we’ve got to do one on them and beat them away from home. There’s a lot been made about cricketing teams around the world and their records away from home.”
“So, it’s important for us with the record that we do have over here to keep that intact. We want to win all the games we play, but now the big focus is winning games away from home. It’s two awesome bowling attacks, plenty of guys from both teams who can score big runs and be attacking players,” he concluded by saying.