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Fit Australian bowlers can match it with the finest: Josh Hazlewood

Vice-captain Josh Hazlewood feels Australia’s Test bowling attack won’t have any real weaknesses if they can avoid the dreaded injury curse this summer.

Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins all made their international returns from injury in Sunday’s six-wicket ODI loss to South Africa in Perth.

Cummins and Hazlewood had missed long periods with back stress fractures, while Starc was absent from the recent T20s in the UAE because of a minor hamstring niggle.

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Australia’s meagre total of 152 on Sunday meant the pace trio didn’t get a proper chance to strut their stuff in the series opener at Perth Stadium against South Africa.

Game two of the ODI series will be held in Adelaide on Friday, with the finale to be played in Hobart, followed by a one-off T20.

But Australia’s biggest task this summer is the four-match Test series against India, starting in Adelaide on December 6.

Although Australia’s batting line-up looks shaky without David Warner and Steve Smith, the bowling unit of Cummins, Starc, Hazlewood and spinner Nathan Lyon is a huge strength.

Hazlewood said it was a confidence boost lining up alongside the powerful attack.

“We’re a pretty tight unit the bowlers,” Hazlewood said.

“Starc and Cummins are quite attacking in any format they play. I guess when we’re all together, there’s no real weakness.

“That’s what teams look for – to target a weakness. And with us three there, plus ’Gaz’ (Lyon) in Test cricket, we’re pretty confident.”

Hazlewood said the three-match ODI series against South Africa – plus a Shield game after that – would be good preparation for the Test series.

VideoAussie pace man Nathan Coulter-Nile says he nearly walked away from cricket last year, after a flurry of injuries.

But he said his eyes are firmly on the current ODI series, with Australia needing to win in Adelaide to keep the series alive.

“You don’t hold back when you play for Australia,” Hazlewood said.

“You’re not looking forward and just saying, ’I want to be right for the Tests’.

“It’s about winning these games and putting some good performances on the board and getting some confidence.”

AUSTRALIA’S FIRST CHOICE BOWLING ATTACK

Josh Hazlewood: 40 Tests, 151 wickets at 26.84

Pat Cummins: 14 Tests, 66 wickets at 23.81

Mitchell Starc: 45 Tests, 186 wickets at 28.52

Nathan Lyon: 80 Tests, 318 wickets at 32.21

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