Melbourne [Australia], Nov.30 : Former Australian pacer Jason Gillespie has predicted that Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood will one day emerge as the best fast bowling combination the country has ever produced.
The performances of Starc and Hazlewood were the only positives for Australia during their recently-concluded three-match Test series against South Africa which the hosts went on to lose 1-2.
The duo finished the home series as the first and the third highest wicket taker, with Hazlewood grabbing 17 wickets at an average of 22 and Starc taking 14 wickets at 30.
And Gillespie believes the pair would soon surpass all to become Australia's greatest pace duo. "Starc and Hazlewood, without doubt, will be the best fast bowling combination Australia has ever produced.
I've got no doubt about that. They'll stay fit, they'll stay healthy, they're learning their trade all the time, they complement each other very well," cricket.com.au was quoted Gillespie as saying.
According to Gillespie, Starc is a very fast bowler who could swing the ball late at pace, while Hazlewood is aggressive with his relentless line and length.
"Starc (is a) really fast, aggressive, nose-and-toes attacking option who can swing the ball late at pace.
And then you've got Hazlewood who is an aggressive bowler but in a different way. He's aggressive with his relentless line and length, he's very disciplined," he said. "I think they're both fine bowlers. In many years' time when we're reflecting on great Australian cricketers, those two will be right up there," Gillespie added.
The New South Wales (NSW) duo have played 17 Tests together since Hazlewood's debut two years ago and have scalped a total of 161 wickets alongside each other.
However, Gillespie's prediction can only come to fruition if Starc and Hazlewood manage to surpass some of the Australian greats, including the former cricketer.
Gillespie and his then teammate Glenn McGrath are Australia's most prolific fast bowling pair so far, having bagged 484 wickets in 58 Tests they played alongside each other.