- Australian paceman James Faulkner went unsold in the IPL 2018 auction but keeping a close eye on the action this season
- He is particularly impressed with SRH’s Siddharth Kaul and MI’s Mustafizur Rahman and their use of variations
- He is hoping that with hard work he can win back his place in the Australian national team
One of the earliest masters of the slower bowl, James Faulkner was regarded among the best T20 players in the world a couple of years back but unfortunately for the seamer, his career seems to have been on a downward spiral ever since his heroic performance for Australia in the 2015 World Cup Final, where he was awarded the man of the match award. Having played for the likes of Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals in the past, Faulkner surprisingly went unsold, a decision which could have a lot to do with his loss of form, which has also seen him lose his place in the Australian team and lose on Cricket Australia’s central retainer contracts.
A long-term knee injury brought the downfall of James Faulkner
Although Faulkner missed out on an IPL contract this year, it hasn’t stopped him from keeping a keen eye on the IPL 2018 matches. Speaking to India’s leading newspaper, The Hindu, Faulkner attributed his inconsistent performance over the past 2 years to a niggling knee injury that has troubled him a lot over the last few months. The all-rounder said, “I picked up a knee injury before the World Cup and I went with it through the event.
“ After that, I struggled with a bit of rhythm and a bit of confidence with my body. I have had some time off for the last few months to get myself all right.”
However, Faulkner did make it clear that he hasn’t lost all hope to make an international return and is ready to do the hard work in order to get back his place in the national team. He said, “I wasn’t getting any breaks at all. It takes its toll on your body. It might be a blessing in disguise that I have had this time to get everything all right, play the game and have good performances up.”
Impressed with young Indian pacer Siddharth Kaul and Bangladeshi international Mustafizur Rahman
Even though Faulkner has been missing from the IPL action on the field this season, he has made sure to catch up on all the matches this season and is highly impressed to see the performance of two-seamers – Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Siddharth Kaul and Mumbai Indians’ Mustafizur Rahman. The Indian seamer has picked up 9 wickets this season and is the joint highest-wicket-taker for SRH, while the Bangladeshi international has picked 7 wickets in IPL 2018. But what has impressed Faulkner the most about these two has been their ability to use variations in their bowling.
“I like the knuckleball from Kaul. He uses it effectively. He has got some pace as well. Uses the short ball well. He has definitely grabbed my attention.
“Obviously, Mustafizur has got a very good slower ball. He is still finding his feet but is a class player. They are probably the top two pacers who have grabbed my attention,” Faulkner said praising the two seamers in question.
This year we have a lot of high scores in the IPL and that has worried some of the bowling greats of the past but Faulkner is confident that just like the batsman look to have the upper edge right now, the bowlers will also bring in new variations to trouble the batsmen.
“I am not too sure how many more variations will come. Bowlers will try something because batsmen have access to areas of the ground like never before.
“Batsmen are batting like 360, so it’s very hard to trick and fool them, especially with the power of the batsmen towards the back-end,” he concluded.
WATCH: Faulkner’s unbelievable finish