Stanlake featured in Australia's victorious Trans-Tasman tri-series © Getty Images
Stanlake featured in Australia’s victorious Trans-Tasman tri-series © Getty Images

Billy Stanlake, 23, has so far played 8 matches for Australia and scalped 9 wickets, but Ricky Ponting believes he has shown signs of becoming all-time great pacers. Stanlake’s stunning show in the latest season of BBL, followed by his performance in the victorious Trans-Tasman Tri-Series, has lifted his stature from a rookie to one of the most dependable for the side. Apart from his consistency, his height and built makes for a perfect pacer, believes Ponting.

“I just love the look of what he’s got. He’s almost seven feet tall, bowls close to 150 kilometres an hour, he can swing the new ball. He’s got a little nasty streak in him as well – he likes bowling bouncers,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “When we see him get a bit more of a tank and grow into his body a bit more and put on a little bit of weight, I think he’s someone that could be one of the all-time great fast bowlers. That’s all there ahead of him, we just hope he stays in one piece and becomes the kind of cricketer we all think he can be.”

Stanlake’s emergence has been a lot like Pat Cummins’, who faced multiple injuries after his promising Test debut. Ponting believes differently. “I think there’s a lot of parallels there,” Ponting said of the pair born less than 12 months apart. “Billy is probably a little bit finer – Pat was always a big solid sort of guy and Pat was introduced to the game at a younger age.Billy’s in his early 20s now, just starting to fill into his body. I know Cricket Australia have got every intention of looking after him as well as they can and making sure they do bulk him up and don’t break him too soon. Because it’s probably inevitable that those guys are going to have the injuries early in their careers.”

Stanlake has featured in no more than two Sheffield Shield matches and there is very thin chance he will play more First-Class cricket this season. The man himself, however, is quite keen, as he told AAP: “I’d love to be able to play Shield cricket. It’s always a goal for me to get back to playing that. But I’m also realistic and know everything that’s been put in place is looking out for my best interests.”