Australia A squad preview: bowlers | cricketnetwork.com

Australia A squad preview: bowlers

13 August 2018

A progress report on each member of the bowling groups heading to India for the upcoming one-day and four-day contests

Jhye Richardson (one-day)

Richardson grabs his maiden ODI wicket

Where he's at: Richardson played eight matches (three ODIs, five T20Is) for Australia across the northern summer in England and Zimbabwe, proving costly in the former before impressing in the latter. The 21-year-old WA quick has been selected for the one-day leg of the tour only, and given he was in South Africa with the Test squad, that may be an indication he is in the frame for the Test squad against Pakistan. The speedster has only played six first-class matches, but is highly rated by Langer and earned a Cricket Australia central contract in April in a World Cup year to suggests he is featuring strongly in selectors' plans.

What he says: "There's a bit of a joke going around and I've got the nickname 'Shadow' because apparently I just keep following (Mitch Starc) around. He's been good, like all the fast bowlers, they've been very welcoming and very accommodating of me. Feedback from the batters in nets sessions is vital (also). They're the ones playing on the wickets and they give you the best feedback if they feel comfortable, uncomfortable with the line and length that you're bowling." (February 2018)

Billy Stanlake (one-day)

Stanlake sizzles with fiery T20 spell

Where he's at: Stanlake has been turning heads in Brisbane in the past week and there is genuine excitement about the summer the giant Queenslander might have in front of him. He was impressive in England and Zimbabwe in both white-ball formats, bowling at high pace with generally good control. With his workloads still being carefully managed, the right arm express fast bowler will only tour for the one-day leg of the India venture. He is hopeful however, that he can follow a similar path to Pat Cummins and gradually transition into first-class cricket, which he hasn't played since 2015.

What he says: "It's been great to get back to playing some 50-over cricket … hopefully the body holds well so when the time is right, red-ball (cricket) will come. I think in the long forms you need to have those different gears, you can't do that (bowl express pace) all day for five days. That's probably something I'm still learning, when to take it back a notch at training when you're feeling a little bit sore."

Michael Neser (one-day and four-day)

Where he's at: Neser was expecting to put his feet up for a while after leading Queensland to a Sheffield Shield title, but the fast-bowling allrounder was a late call-up to Australia's ODI squad to England in June, where he played two matches. Since, and after speaking with national coach Justin Langer, he has been working on several aspects of his game, including preparation, variety in his bowling, and facing spin with the bat. The right-armer was the Shield's second-highest wicket-taker last summer and his swing and seam skills could suit Asian conditions.

What he says: "In India, for somebody like me who bowls mid-130kph, variation is the key – subtle changes and consistent areas. There's a couple of new balls I'm trying out at the moment – every year I try to bowl a new variation because I find that in the Big Bash and the Shield, the guys you play every year tend to work you out. So if you're not coming up with something new, or honing in on certain things, they can get away from you."

Joel Paris (one-day and four-day)

Paris gives a left-arm option // Getty
Paris gives a left-arm option // Getty

Where he's at: Paris is in as good physical condition as he has been in a few years, with the Warriors left-armer having ended his first-class drought by playing in his side's final Sheffield Shield match last summer. He resumed training in WA a couple of months ago and has spent the past week causing Australia A batsmen headaches off his long run, combining pace and swing. The 25-year-old has just seven first-class matches to his name has already collected 40 wickets at 19.20. The big question mark will be how his body handles the unfriendly conditions for fast bowlers.

What he says: "Around January, February I took a bit of a turn for the good and the body started feeling really well. I was able to bowl lots of overs and back up day after day. It's certainly not bowler friendly at all over there, with a lot of flat wickets … one of the main things for quicks over there is to be able to take wickets with the new ball. I'm pretty sure that will be my role if I get the opportunity to play, so hopefully I can do that and do that well."

Mitch Swepson (one-day and four-day)

Heat's Swepson has Stars in a spin

Where he's at: Swepson has played one competitive match since winning the Shield final with Queensland – a T20I against England in which he claimed 2-37. The fact he has been picked on both the one- and four-day legs of the tour (alongside allrounder Ashton Agar) could mean selectors are considering the prospect of partnering Nathan Lyon with a wrist-spinner in the Pakistan Tests. Swepson has been working hard over the past week in Brisbane, putting in the hours in the nets against some of the country's best batsmen. The leggie was part of Australia's Test tour of India in 2017, where he didn't play but learned plenty. 

What he says: "Everyone compares wrist-spinners to the great Shane Warne. What he did for Australian cricket was quite amazing. It's always in the back of people's minds that a great leg-spinner in a team can be really threatening. In that sense it's good for me that I've got that string to my bow and that I can give the ball a decent rip. The next step is trying to be consistent to get to that next level and still turn the ball big."

Chris Tremain (one-day and four-day)

Tremain claims seven scalps for Victoria

Where he's at: Tremain said recently that time has helped him take some benefits from his experiences in Australia's ODI whitewash in South Africa back in 2016 – a tour on which he won all four of his national caps. The thoughtful 27-year-old was the leading wicket-taker in last summer's Shield, claiming a stunning 51 wickets, and he hasn't played any competitive cricket since. The Victorian is strong, consistent and durable, and with two spots up for grabs in the Test attack, could be viewed by selectors as a man to get through some high-quality grunt work.

What he says: "When I first started playing cricket, I just wanted to do it as an occupation. I wanted to do it as a profession and I got the opportunity to do that. "Being selected for Australia A or taking 50 wickets in a Shield season … they're pretty much cherries on top of what you're doing. "I've never gone out to play with the mindset, 'If I do well here, I'll play for Australia'. It's 'If I do well here, I'll get another week of being a professional cricketer'."

Brendan Doggett (four-day)

Tireless Doggett collect Shield final five-for

Where he's at: Doggett is part of the four-day tour only so was still training with Queensland last week, and the 24-year-old is probably the biggest bolter in the bowling group. He made his first-class debut last summer, took a five-wicket haul in the Shield final, and is capable of hitting speeds in the mid-140s and moving the ball both in the air and off the seam – traits that will have him well placed for success in India. A full-time carpenter only a couple of years ago, the right-armer's rise has been rapid.

What he says: "I don't know if you ever know if you're ready to play Test cricket for Australia. If the opportunity ever came I'd be over the moon and I'd give it my best. I'd just approach it the same way I've approached everything else so far. I'd be just keen to talk to new people and learn new skills. I think I've got a bit of a lighter outlook on things, I don’t get too down on myself if I bowl badly – I speak to the coaches, they will give me some feedback and move on. I definitely do look at things differently to the guys who have grown up in the cricket circle."

Jon Holland (four-day)

Holland finds form quickly in Shield return

Where he's at: It's been six months since Holland played any form of competitive cricket but the left-arm orthodox spinner appears very much back in the Test frame with selection in the four-day leg of this India tour. The Victorian only played three Shield matches last summer (taking 12 wickets) owing to injury and then selection on the tour of South Africa, and now looks set to resume rivalries with allrounder Ashton Agar (and Swepson) in the race to be Nathan Lyon's spin partner against Pakistan.

What he says: "Getting picked for South Africa was probably the thing I'd expected the least. But I had a good chat with 'Cracker' (national selector Trevor Hohns) after the tour and he explained to me where I sat, so it's all very clear to me now. He said if they wanted a specialist spin role, (I'm) the next one behind Nathan. But if they're looking for an all-round package depending on conditions and team make-up, Ashton is ahead of me. Which is fair enough."

Australia A Tour of India

Australia A one-day squad: Travis Head (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Matthew Renshaw, Jhye Richardson, D'Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain, Jack Wildermuth

Schedule

One-day fixtures in Vijayawada

17 August v India A

19 August v South Africa A

21 August v India B

23 August v India A

25 August v South Africa A

27 August v India B

29 August - Quad-Series Final

Australia A four-day squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Michael Neser, Joel Paris, Kurtis Patterson, Matthew Renshaw, Mitch Swepson, Chris Tremain

Four-day fixtures in Vizag

2-5 September v India A

8-11 September v India A


About the Writer

 @AdamBurnett09
@AdamBurnett09

Adam Burnett previously wrote for and edited at Inside Cricket magazine and The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia and The Telegraph and the Guardian in the UK.