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Josh Hazlewood concerned about Covid-19 cases in Chennai Super Kings camp
IPL 2020

Josh Hazlewood concerned about Covid-19 cases in Chennai Super Kings camp

Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood has admitted to being "a bit concerned" regarding the coronavirus outbreak at his Indian Premier League franchise ahead of the commencement of the tournament on September 19.

Hazlewood is currently in England, where he is a member of Australia's white-ball squad, who are set to clash with the hosts in three T20Is and three ODIs.

The limited-overs tour ends on September 16, following which Hazlewood will head to the UAE – the venue of this year's IPL instead of original host country India.

Hazlewood will be representing the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings this season after being acquired by the three-time IPL winners for INR 2 crore at the auction.

But 13 CSK personnel, including two players in the existing squad, have tested positive for coronavirus requiring them to undergo 14-day self-isolation. The Super Kings have also extended their quarantine period till September 1 despite other IPL teams already indulging in training sessions as part of their preparations.

"The franchise, we have a group WhatsApp, with all the information that comes through, it's, obviously, a little bit of a concern, yeah," Hazlewood told reporters in a virtual press conference.

"You ideally would have no cases. They are, obviously, in quarantine now and I think they finish up over the next few days. All my focus is, obviously, on this tournament at the moment. Once that IPL becomes closer, we will think more about that."

While the news of the Covid-19 outbreak in the CSK camp is unsettling for Hazlewood, he is focused on establishing himself a regular in Australia's white-ball unit.

The right-arm seamer last turned out for Australia in a T20I during the 2016 World T20 event in India but has done well in the shortest format for Sydney Sixers in their title-winning campaign in the 2019-20 Big Bash League.

As the visitors spend their time in a bio-secure environment in England, Hazlewood conceded his chances of breaking into the T20I side were minimal.

"I am pretty aware of where I sit roughly. The team keeps winning and the guys are going well, especially the bowling unit," he said.

"They have, obviously, had West Indies, Pakistan and England through already, ironed out a few kinks, I suspect. We are probably spending more time with each other than we would normally, which is a good thing."

Overpowering England at their home would be a steep challenge for Australia given the opposition's extraordinary depth in both batting and bowling resources.

England's young guns stepped up in the absence of first-choice players to prevail over Pakistan in the high-scoring second T20I at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Having keenly watched their successful run-chase in the fateful encounter, Hazlewood voiced his admiration for England's talent.

"They had a good chase against Pakistan, so they know their roles and their white-ball team is as good as ever," Hazlewood said.

"It's probably a few of the new guys who I haven't seen a great deal of: Tommy Banton, Dawid Malan -- I've seen him but he's in the runs again. Eoin Morgan runs a really good ship in the white-ball stuff.

"It is a tough gig...England are flying at the moment. It's always tough here but we expect to win every game we play."