Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood has declared himself ready to return from the side strain that ended his Ashes series after the first Test in early December.
Former Australia paceman and ex-Test selector Merv Hughes wants to see the players sport more facial hair.
“I feel facial hair brings the best out of the players,” said Hughes in the wake of Tuesday’s massive loss by an innings and 135 runs to India in the second Test in Hyderabad.
The playful big Merv, who became famous for sticking his tongue in skipper Allan Border’s ear, says cricketers in the modern professional era aren’t encouraged to enjoy the lighter side of the game.
“When I played, a lot of people had moustaches — David Boon (former Australian batsman) and Graham Gooch (former England skipper) both had lovely moustaches,” Hughes has told Indian media.
“They are just going out of the game. I firmly believe it should be brought back.
“I would like to see the guys with moustaches, beards, goatees, half-beards and half-shaved heads.
“David Warner has gone for the bearded look (on this tour).
“When the Australians come to the subcontinent, a lot of the guys grow beards to protect their face from the sun.
“It is not just a fashion statement.
“We are going from a semi-professional era into a professional era.
“There is so much more expected from the players, they are just not allowed to show they are enjoying themselves.
“Within the Indian team, (MS) Dhoni is a character in his own way, Harbhajan (Singh) is one.”
India’s newspapers are certainly enjoying themselves after the home team went two-nil up in the four-match series.
“INDIA OZ-SOME” said the Deccan Chronicle in Hyderabad, adding: “The kangaroos currently resemble rabbits caught in the headlights.”
India batting great Sunil Gavaskar says seeing Australia’s batsmen struggle against spin is a sorry sight.
“Australians are known not to give up, but there is a sense of resignation about the batsmen as they walk out to the crease to take guard,” the ex-skipper said in the Times of India.
“There have been exceptions, of course, with Michael Clarke being the prime example of a batsman using his feet to get close to the spinning ball.”