Proteas Test series could be tougher than Ashes:Hazlewood

ANI | Updated: Feb 27, 2018 18:22 IST

Melbourne [Australia], Feb 27 (ANI): Australian seamer Josh Hazlewood believes the upcoming four-match Test series against South Africa will witness a lot tougher cricket than the Ashes series.

Fresh from their 4-1 win over England in the five-match ODI series at home, the Steve Smith-led side will ride high on confident when they take on South Africa in the Test series, beginning in Durban on Thursday.

Though playing and winning in Ashes series still remains the pinnacle for any Australian or England cricketer, Hazlewood said that the challenge of playing against second-ranked South Africa would be a level up in terms of intensity.

"I think it's going to match it if not even surpass it. The Ashes is obviously a different prospect, and at home the crowds were massive, the media hype was big and it was a great series to be a part of. But I think this series is going to be a lot tougher cricket,"cricket.com.au quoted Hazlewood, as saying.

Hazlewood admitted that his side had failed to perform well overseas in the last couple of years, however, adding that they would try to perform to their level best and come back with the trophy.

"It's overseas for us and we've obviously struggled overseas in the last couple of years, so it's a good opportunity in sort of familiar conditions, a bit like Australia, to put our best foot forward and come home with the trophy," he said.

Echoing similar views, Hazlewood's fellow paceman, and likely new-ball partner, Mitchell Starc admitted that the series against South Africa would be a `big` one.

"It's going to be big. South Africa beat us at home and now we've got to do one on them and beat them away from home. We want to win all the games we play, but now the big focus is winning games away from home," Starc said.

Australia will aim to defend their proud record of not having lost a Test series in South Africa since they made their international cricket debut back in 1991. (ANI)

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