Billy Stanlake looks to move past disappointing Australia A tour
Billy Stanlake harbours World Cup 2019 hopes (Getty Images)

Australia fast bowler Billy Stanlake is eager to brush aside his disappointing outing in the Quadrangular series and focus on the forthcoming JLT one-day Cup to make amends. Stanlake, one of Australia’s promising fast bowlers, featured in the tri-series in Zimbabwe in July, where he picked up seven wickets in five games, including 4/8 against the home team, but went wicketless in three games for Australia A during the Quadrangular series.

The JLT Cup begins on September 16, and Stanlake will be keen on proving a point in the first game that pits his side Queensland Bulls against Victoria.

“I bowled really well at times but was probably too inconsistent with my line and length at other times,” Stanlake told cricket.com.au.

“The really disappointing thing for me was I wasn’t able to take wickets. That is my primary role in the team, to take wickets up front with the new ball. I was doing all the right things at training so it’s very disappointing to not be able to replicate that out in the middle.”

The tour of India was a stern test for Stanlake, and even though he was good in patches, his overall performance didn’t do justice to his reputation of being one of Australia’s bankable fast-bowling options. In six ODIs and 12 T20Is for Australia, Stanlake has collected 23 wickets, and while the figures might not be astonishing by any stretch of the imagination, Stanlake has displayed traits needed to excel at the international level.

“You’re always learning lessons, and I could have tried a couple of different things, like coming around the wicket, which I did at one point (in the final),” Stanlake said.

“There’s always something to take out of it. It’s good in a way to go through games where you’re not performing and try and work through that where your rhythm just isn’t there out in the middle. I was going through patches where I just wasn’t feeling good and trying to come through that.”

Stanlake injured the pinky finger of the right hand during the IPL while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Chennai Super Kings and subsequently had to return home for surgery. He was back in time for the tour of England in which England swept Australia 5-0 in the ODIs. Thankfully, Stanlake has managed his body well since.

“The body is feeling great, I’m pulling up really well after games,” Stanlake said.

“That’s very exciting for me, to be able play 50-over cricket regularly, and the more I’m playing the easier it’s getting (to recover). I can see my body continuing to improve and I’m able to play a lot more cricket than I have in the past.”

With nine months to go for the World Cup, the tall fast bowler has his eyes set on winning the World Cup. The defeat at the hands of England stung every Australian, with Stanlake being no exception, and the idea of facing them again is something the fast bowler is looking forward to. That said, the JLT Cup isn’t far off, and Stanlake terms it the first step towards achieving his dream of representing Australia at the World Cup.

“I’d love to have another crack at those England boys again,” Stanlake said. “It was a great learning experience just how low the margin for error is at the top level when you’re facing some of the best batters in the world and they’re in good form.

“(The World Cup) is still a long way away and there’s a lot of cricket to be played before then, but it’s obviously a great goal to have, to try and make that squad. But it’s still only one step at a time, and next is the JLT Cup. I haven’t been able to play with those (Queensland) boys for a few years so I’m really looking forward to it.”