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Hazlewood can become most prolific pacer in Test history, feels McGrath

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Melbourne: Australian cricket legend Glenn McGrath on Wednesday said compatriot Josh Hazlewood has the ability to topple him and become the most prolific fast bowler in Test history.

McGrath ended his feted international career with 563 wickets from 124 Tests, the fourth most in history and the most for any fast bowler.

Hazlewood reached 100 career wickets in the second Test of the ongoing series against Pakistan here when he took a return catch off Wahab Riaz, becoming just the fourth Aussie to reach the mark before his 26th birthday.

“The challenge is there. If he can get there and do that, I’d be one of the happiest guys for him,” McGrath told cricket.com.au.

“Records are there to be chased down and be beaten and that (is a) little carrot to keep guys going. To play 100-plus Tests and get 560-odd wickets like I took, if he can get there, then he’d have done pretty well,” he added.

“He’s only a young fellow … but it’s up to him how far he goes. If he keeps up a good work ethic off the field … to keep strong, to keep fit. If he does that and stays very disciplined, who knows where he could get to?”

McGrath said Hazlewood would benefit from a stint in county cricket before the next Ashes tour in 2019.

“I think it’s pretty tough to do that. Back when I played I had a few opportunities to play county cricket and I think it was really good for me. Josh has had a taste of English cricket and unfortunately he didn’t do as well as he would have liked,” McGrath said.

“I thought he would have done really well in English conditions, but I think he changed a few things. He was running in wider and looking to swing the ball and coming around himself rather than over the top,” he added.

“I think he’s now sorted that out … so I think next time he goes to England, he’ll really enjoy it. If he can go over there (for the Champions Trophy), bowl well and get his confidence up, that will kick-start him for the next Ashes.”

IANS

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