Australia’s star-studded pace attack is feeling fresh and set to back up in Brisbane despite the prospect of a jarring three-day break after the SCG Test.
There were pre-series fears that Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc would need a break at some point this summer.
Hazlewood and Cummins were both unable to play a red-ball game before the first Test, having taken part in the Indian Premier League.
An incredibly short turnaround between the third and fourth Tests also loomed as a major concern for medicos, who closely monitor the workload of fast bowers and try to decrease the risk of injury.
David Warner has flagged a three-day break will make it “quite difficult” for him to play in both Sydney and Brisbane.
But ball has comprehensively dominated bat during the first half of Australia’s four-Test series against India, while allrounder Cameron Green’s elevation has helped share the bowling burden.
Hazlewood has bowled 51 overs, Cummins has delivered 63.3 overs, and Starc has sent down 57 overs.
“I was just talking to a few of the guys earlier and it’s probably the freshest we have felt while turning up to Sydney at this time of year, for a very long time,” Hazlewood told AAP.
“Back-to-back is fine now. It’s been a pretty good lead in, the first two Tests, to just keep working on that build up (of workload).
“Even if we bowl 40-plus overs here, we’ll be OK for Brisbane.”
The news will delight captain Tim Paine, whose fast bowlers loom as arguably Australia’s biggest asset in their quest for a series victory.
Cummins and Hazlewood skittled India for a record-low total of 36 at Adelaide Oval, making a mockery of concerns about their preparation for the Test series.
“Three one-dayers in a week is as good, if not better, prep for a Test than a Shield game,” Hazlewood said.
“Different ball, you’re bowling a bit differently.
“But as far as actual physical workload goes – it’s very tough.”
Australia’s attack is desperate to stay on top of Cheteshwar Pujara, who broke their morale by scoring 193 during his previous SCG Test.
Pujara, man of the series during India’s previous Test our of Australia, has managed 63 runs at 15.75 during the current series.
“Patty has got him a few times … Gaz (Nathan Lyon) probably looked the best against him in that first innings at Adelaide,” Hazlewood said.
“But it’s just that the wickets have had a bit in them. Pujara is an unbelievable player when it is a bit slow and low, Indian-style wickets.
“But if we can get some pace and bounce then it brings us into the game.”