Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood has said that the rivalry between the Aussies and India is "up there with the Ashes." Hazlewood talked about the upcoming tour of India, which includes three ODIs and T20Is, and a four-match Test series.
Hazlewood said that the defeat Australia suffered in the home series against India in 2018-19 serves as a "motivation" for the players who were part of the squad in that series.
“They won last time, and we don’t lose too many series in Australia,” Hazlewood said in an interview on Wednesday.
“That certainly hurt at the time. We know the guys who were in that time. I will remember that. It gives motivation this time around.
“Australia-India rivalry is up there with the Ashes. India have probably added to it, the last time when they came here and won. That was some tight series."
Hazlewood said that the Indian pacers "out-bowled" them on their previous tour Down Under, which proved to the deciding factor in the Test series. India had defeated Australia 2-1 in 2018-19, which was also their first-ever Test series win on Australian soil.
“They out-bowled us the last time they came. That went a long way for them in winning the series. They have most bases covered with their quicks. If Ishant Sharma gets here at some point it will add to their strength," said the Aussie pacer.
“They are all a little bit different. For the last 10-15 years, Indian pacers have kept improving. Our batters will have to be on their toes to counter that.”
Hazlewood named Jasprit Bumrah as India's standout bowler, and insisted that the Australian batsman will have to tire him out.
“Bumrah is probably the standout. He is unique with his action. He maintains pace very well throughout the day, and the whole series. He is probably the key. He can take wickets upfront or with the old ball. I guess it’s about getting lot of overs into him, try to tire him out in the first couple of games. That will be the key,” Hazlewood said.