India is a very dangerous side: Josh Hazlewood

Melbourne, Feb 10: Notwithstanding India's awful form in the run-up to the cricket World Cup, Australian paceman Josh Hazlewood feels the defending champions are a very dangerous side and that it was "just a matter of time" before their batting order clicks.

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Australia drubbed India in the warm-up match by 106 runs on Sunday in yet another listless performance by the Men in Blue Down Under. Australia outplayed India in batting, bowling and fielding in the Adelaide game to reiterate their status as favourites to win the showpiece event that starts on Saturday.

File photo of Josh Hazlewood

"It's just a matter of time until their batting order clicks," Hazlewood told reporters here today.

"They've got some outstanding players and they've all got great records. I think it's just a matter of time before they get going. They're a very dangerous side," he said.

There is no lack of competition for spots in Australia's fast-bowling ranks, but Hazlewood said he is confident he has done enough to win a place in the team that will face England in the World Cup opener on Saturday at the MCG.

The paceman starred with the ball in Australia's thumping victory over England in the tri-series final, taking 2-13. He was impressive again on Sunday in the warm-up game against India, taking 2-25.

The likes of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins are all vying for a place in the team, but Hazlewood feels his recent form warranted a nod.

"I feel pretty comfortable with where I'm at. I feel like I'm bowling well and I bowled well at the WACA again in the (tri-series) final. As long as I keep contributing and doing my thing, that goes a long way for me to keep my spot," he said.

Hazlewood insisted the make-up of the Australian line-up was far from finalised and believed there were some spots still up for grabs. The co-hosts will be put through their paces one last time tomorrow when they face the United Arab Emirates at the MCG in a warm-up match.

It will serve as a final chance for some fringe players, as well as returning captain Michael Clarke, to convince the selectors. James Faulkner has been ruled out of the World Cup opener due to a side strain and is in danger of missing as many as three matches.

The significance of Faulkner's absence wasn't lost on Hazlewood, who described the 24-year-old as one of the team's most important players. Hazlewood believed Australia's superior depth will hold them in good stead.


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