Following their impressive win in the T20 tri-series against England and New Zealand, Australian national cricket team are currently in South Africa preparing to face the Proteas in a 4 match test series. The Aussies come into this series after defeating England 3-0 in the Ashes test series and full of confidence. One player who has impressed former Australian captain and the current T20 coach Ricky Ponting hugely this summer is 23-years-old Billy Stanlake. The World Cup-winning captain believes that even though Stanlake didn’t play much red ball cricket in the summer, he has enough talent to become an Australian great if he can keep working hard.
Stanlake was part of the Australian squad that defeated New Zealand in the final of the T20 tri-series earlier in the month. The tall lanky pacer has managed to pick up 8 international wickets in just 6 matches and was also among the most effective bowlers in the recently concluded Big Bash League, which his team Adelaide Strikers won.
Ricky Ponting loves how Billy Stanlake plays
Speaking of Stanlake and his performances over the past few months, Ponting said, “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 and he executes things very well.
Ponting believes that Stanlake still have a lot of improvement to do especially when it comes to his fitness and body strength. The legendary batsman said, “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.”
“We just hope he stays in one piece and becomes the kind of cricketer we all think he can be.”
During his interview, Ponting also pointed that he had been looking at Stanlake for the past couple of years and before last year’s BBL, he has flagged the fast-bowler as someone to watch out for. The punter as Ponting is commonly referred to is impressed with how hard Stanlake has worked over the last one year. He said,
“I have been talking about him for a couple of years and marked him before last year’s Big Bash as some to watch out but he is getting better, he is getting stronger, he is getting fitter and someone who is starting to understand the game a little bit better, so Billy Stanlake is someone I will identify as a rising star for the future.”
Billy Stanlake made his international debut against Pakistan last year in an ODI match at the Gabba and has since then played 2 ODI’s and 6 T20I’s for his country. He recent performances in the Big Bash League prompted Sunrisers Hyderabad to acquire his services in the recently concluded IPL auction for a price of INR 50 lakhs. Australia will begin their tour to South Africa on 1st March at Durban.