Australian pace bowler Josh Hazlewood has declared himself fit for the first Ashes Test at the Gabba on November 23.
Hazlewood made his return to first-class cricket in the Sheffield Shield for New South Wales against Western Australia last week, playing a starring role in the win.
The reliable quick took 6-73 from 33 overs, including the scalps of both Marsh brothers in each innings, and Test hopeful Hilton Cartwright in the first innings.
“Things went pretty well the whole game,” Hazlewood said on Friday.
“From ball one I was pretty surprised with how well the ball was coming out, how good the run-up felt, how good everything (was) in general.
“I’m pretty happy with where it’s at now so I don’t think there’s a need to play another game.
“I’m ready to go now and we obviously talk with the coaches and selectors and physios and whatnot, everyone is on the same page and ready to go.”
Hazlewood is sitting out the next two Sheffield Shield rounds as he prepares for the first Test in Brisbane by training with fellow pace bowlers Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Jackson Bird.
The quartet bowled at experienced batting pair Steve Smith and David Warner in the nets, with the battle between Smith and Starc particularly competitive according to Hazlewood.
“It’s always good fun and they (Smith and Starc) are two world-class players, so it always keeps you on your toes and makes sure you get everything out of the session,” Hazlewood said.
“That’s what they’re always like.
“They’re always into each other and Patty (Cummins) and I just do our thing.
“It’s pretty easy to fire Starcy up, so Smithy takes it on.
“There’s no real ‘going through the motions’ when you’re bowling at those two (David Warner and Steve Smith).”
West Australian fast bowler Nathan Coulter-Nile is set to miss an indefinite amount of time due to a flare up of an old stress fracture in his back, hurting Australia’s fast-bowling stocks for the upcoming summer of cricket.