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‘My fitness is pretty good,’ Hazlewood hoping to compete in the WTC final.

Australia’s fast bowler has returned to bowling at virtually full intensity as he recovers from minor pain in his previously injured side.

Australia is pressed for time. After departing the IPL early due to side soreness, Josh Hazlewood believes he has a chance to play in the World Test Championship final against India provided he can go through some strenuous training sessions in the coming week.

After missing Australia’s whole four-match Test series against India in February and March, as well as the three-match ODI series that followed, Hazlewood played only three IPL matches for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Hazlewood’s withdrawal from the IPL was made as a precaution, and scans found no harm to his side. Due to two side strains in the last two years, he has missed four Tests in the 2021-22 home Ashes series and three more last summer against the West Indies and South Africa.

He was able to bowl at home in Sydney, however, before joining the group in England last week. On Tuesday, the group performed their first formal training session in England at Formby, West Lancashire, where Hazlewood went virtually full throttle after landing in England and following a soft bowl on his own.

He told the ICC that he is nearly ready to play in the World T20 final against India, which begins next Wednesday at the Oval in London.

“My fitness is pretty good,” Hazlewood said. “Basically, it’s just a matter of ticking off every session from here until that date.”

“In T20, you have to bowl a lot of different balls every over.” A wide yorker to a bouncer to a slower ball, and [the side] simply became clogged, and scar tissue from previous injuries flared up.

“It settled down fairly quickly.” I took a week off and didn’t quite recover in time for [the] IPL, but the past few bowls have been fantastic, and I’ve been building up nicely.”

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