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ESPNcricinfo Awards 2020 Test bowling winner: the spell that felled India

The winner of the Test bowling award bundled India out for their lowest Test score ever

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Josh Hazlewood leads Australia off after registering figures of 5-3-8-5, Australia vs India, 1st Test, Adelaide, 3rd day, December 19, 2020

Hazlewood leads Australia off after registering figures of 5-3-8-5  •  Cricket Australia/Getty Images

A Test match was in the balance. But not for long. India resumed on the third afternoon of the day-night encounter with a lead of 62 and nine wickets in hand. Hazlewood wasn't actually handed the ball right away - Mitchell Starc first had a three-over spell alongside Pat Cummins, the latter removing nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah, then Cheteshwar Pujara, to leave India tottering on 15 for 3.
When Hazlewood was introduced in the 13th over of the innings, things happened very quickly. A trademark delivery found the outside edge of Mayank Agarwal. That set the pattern for four of his five wickets: he demanded the batsmen play almost everything, and found enough nip with the pink ball to nick the edge. Hazlewood was on a hat-trick when he removed Wriddhiman Saha and R Ashwin but Umesh Yadav kept out the third delivery. The Indian batsmen barely played and missed; it was close to the perfect spell. The bowler Hazlewood is often compared to, Glenn McGrath, could not have done it any better.

Key moment

Such was the almost blink-and-you-miss-it nature of the performance - India all out for 36 in 21.2 overs - that it is difficult to pin down one moment. However, after Hazlewood's opening over, it was clear there would be no way out for the visitors. The first-ball wicket of Agarwal was followed four deliveries later by that of Ajinkya Rahane in an almost carbon-copy dismissal. India were 15 for 5.

The numbers

8 The number of runs conceded by Hazlewood. Only twice has an Australia bowler conceded fewer runs in an innings in which he has taken five for more wickets.
1.6 Cummins economy rate. It was the third most economical five-wicket haul for Australian in Tests and the best since 1947, when Ernie Toshack took 5 for 2.

What they said

"It didn't change a great deal from the first innings - we just bowled a touch fuller and maybe a touch straighter. But I thought Cummo [Cummins] set the scene beautifully and I just followed suit. It was just one of those days when everything went to plan; we kept putting it in on that spot and the nicks kept coming. It happened so quickly; it was over before we knew it."
- Josh Hazlewood
"I said this morning that I thought both these attacks have the ability to take really quick wickets - I didn't think they'd be coming that quick. It shows the talent we've got with the ball when our boys execute. If there's anything in the wicket that's what can happen."
- Tim Paine

The closest contender

Kyle Jamieson, 5 for 45 vs India, second Test, Christchurch
What an introduction to international cricket Jamieson has enjoyed (he was named our debutant of the year) - this was his first five-wicket haul in only his second Test. India were promisingly placed at 80 for 1 when he removed Prithvi Shaw for an aggressive 54, and he would later line up Pujara after a more stubborn half-century, before helping to clean up the lower order. It looked as though New Zealand had found a good one in Jamieson, and his subsequent performances in 2020 reinforced that notion.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo