Sport

Steketee in mix for tour to India

VALUE HITTER: National Cricket Centre Coach Troy Cooley says Mark Steketee, pictured batting for Maryvale, could develop into a handy lower order batsman to compliment his bowling.
VALUE HITTER: National Cricket Centre Coach Troy Cooley says Mark Steketee, pictured batting for Maryvale, could develop into a handy lower order batsman to compliment his bowling. Gerard Walsh

THE competitive skills and shoulder speed of Warwick pace bowler Mark Steketee have impressed National Cricket Centre coach Troy Cooley.

Cooley is in charge of the National Performance Squad currently playing a quad one-day series against Australia A, England A and South Africa A.in Darwin.

He has been battling a calf muscle twinge this week but is expected to play today or Tuesday.

Cooley said Steketee could bowl a heavy ball on a good length.

"He bowls a good line and length and had a good run in the Big Bash," Cooley said.

"Mark has good shoulder speed and can swing the ball when he needs too. He can also bowl reverse swing."

Cooley hasn't timed Steketee's bowling speed in recent months but said he was well in the 130kmh range.

"He is a bit cagey around how he uses his fastest balls," Cooley said.

Reverse swing has been the rage in the past decade after the ability to swing the old ball was listed as the major reason Australia lost one Ashes Series under Ricky Ponting to England.

Cooley rated Steketee as a strong character who has put himself in the mix for a tour to India in August.

"The National Performance Squad will play two four-day games at Bangalore during the August 3-18 tour.

On the day Cooley spoke to the Daily News, he had chatted to batting coach Graeme Hick about the batting potential of Steketee.

"Mark hits the ball well and it is a case of value adding with his batting. He can develop into a very good lower order batsman."

Steketee scored two centuries for Maryvale in 2012-2013 Warwick cricket and played in the grand final.

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