Date Posted:17 November 2016 

He’s the young gun fast bowler who’s been likened to Glenn McGrath, but Josh Hazlewood knows if he is to live up to that hype he needs to stay fit and injury-free.

The 24-year-old, who burst into the spotlight last summer after a blazing man-of-the-match, five-wicket haul against India, puts his himself through a demanding training regimen to ensure his body can withstand the huge impact placed on it as a paceman.

“Being a fast bowler puts a lot of strain on your body and what makes it even tougher is, as a cricketer, these days we don’t get any time off, which means you’ve got to be at your peak 24-7 all year round,” the Tamworth bowler said.

“So finding the right balance in all areas of your preparation is key. Physically, you need to find the right mix between how much time you spend bowling to get fit and how much time you spend in the gym trying to get strong.

“As a fast bowler, you want to keep your muscles lean and not put on too much weight and have to carry that throughout the game. So we try to keep as light as possible but strong as well. It’s quite tough.”

His training methods are a far cry from those employed by the army of fast bowlers who have pounded the crease for their country in years gone by.

“I am sure the way we train and eat today is quite a bit different to a few years back when Merv Hughes was playing,” Hazlewood said.

“Even some of the older guys playing today think some of the training the younger blokes do is a bit different, like pilates, which the younger guys are right into, but the older guys steer clear of.

“I’m really looking forward to this summer as I am feeling good and am at that age now where my bones have hardened up and, as a fast bowler, I am entering my peak.