How Stanlake found himself in Australian ODI mix
AUSTRALIA'S new "Big Bird” is about to be unleashed on Pakistan.
As tall as West Indian great Joel Garner and as fast as Brett Lee, unheralded Queensland sensation Billy Stanlake has been picked as one of the biggest bolters in one-day cricket and is the latest in Australia's production line of exciting quicks.
Standing at 204cm, the towering right-armer is set to provide crucial relief for Test spearheads Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, who are in urgent need of a rest during the five ODIs starting on Friday.
Lee was Stanlake's boyhood hero, but the one advantage the 22-year-old unheralded rookie has genetically is the fact he's 16cm taller than his idol.
Capable of pushing the speedometer at 150km/h, Stanlake has impressed for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League and the sight of him rocking Brad Haddin back with a rising delivery to have him out hit wicket was the kind of bouncer that selectors love.
Queensland has had Stanlake on its radar since he was 13 and he bowled well for Australia in the under-19s World Cup in Dubai in 2014 to be its most economical bowler, giving him a smoky chance of being considered for the Test tour of India.
While ability has never been in question, Stanlake has already had stress fractures in his back and is under workload restrictions at the Strikers that ban him from playing a full season.
Australian coach Darren Lehmann likes what he sees.
"He's tall, he's fast, he's got some bounce, so that's a pleasing thing for us,” he said.
"It's more than likely he'll only play a couple of games depending on the make-up of the side and where we play so it's a big change for him. He's a good kid coming through and it's exciting times.”
Starc appeared to be grabbing at an ankle injury on day five of the Test against Pakistan at the SCG, but captain Steve Smith says there is no problem.
Australia must be careful how it manages its indispensable pace leaders with a further ODI series in New Zealand and then the Indian Test tour still on the horizon.
Starc has bowled 265 overs this summer for 28 wickets, while Hazlewood has got through even more work with more than 270 overs to his name for a return of 32 scalps.
Selectors will also be wary about pushing Pat Cummins too hard.
"They've had six Test matches on the trot so we'll sum that up next day or two,” said Lehmann when asked whether he might rest Starc and Hazlewood at the start or end of the ODI campaign.
"For those guys it's more a case of making sure see how they pull up. They'll play during the one-day series no doubt about that it's just about how many games.
"The (first match at the) Gabba has some pace and bounce so we'll be using three quicks there and maybe in Perth, but outside of that we have to sum it up how they're going.”
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH