Despite having played only two First-Class matches, Billy Stanlake is eyeing a Test spot © Getty Images (file photo)
Despite having played only two First-Class matches, Billy Stanlake is eyeing a Test spot © Getty Images (file photo)

Over his brief foray in white-ball cricket, Billy Stanlake has already surprised many a batsman with his bounce, generated from his 6’8” height, and pace, which often threatens to go past the 145-kph barrier. He is also hot property when it comes to franchise-run T20 leagues. Stanlake, 23, is now eyeing a spot in the Australian Test squad, and has accordingly made changes to his First-Class regime, as he told the Adelaide Advertiser.

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“In the long forms, you probably need to have those different gears,” Stanlake said during a practice session with Australia A before the squad left for a tour of India. “I think you probably can’t do that [bowl express] all day for five days. So, that’s probably something I’m still learning as well; when to take it back a notch in training if you’re feeling a little bit sore. But in white-ball cricket, I’m going flat out for the whole time and that’s something I really want to do.”

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Till date Stanlake has played only 11 List A matches (of which only 6 are ODIs) and 35 T20s (12 internationals). The career has been a stop-start one, mostly due to injuries. However, his ability to bother batsmen on flat tracks makes him a serious contender for Australia’s Test squad for the UAE tour to play Tests against Pakistan after both Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood have been ruled out.

Stanlake has played only two First-Class matches, both back in 2015-16, for South Australia, before a toe injury occurred. He took 6 for 113 in the match against Queensland and 1 for 48 against New South Wales. The First-Class bowling average, albeit based on a small sample, is an impressive 21.57.

Despite his brief red-ball outing till date, Stanlake is confident of his future in the format: “It’s been a great start getting some cricket into me and I’m sure when the time’s right red ball will come.”