Stanlake: 'My bowling accuracy would get better with more cricket'

The 23-year-old Australian fast bowler is confident of doing well in this season of IPL, playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Ricky Ponting believes that Stanlake has all the skills to become one of the "all-time great fast bowlers".   -  AFP

At 6ft 8in, Australia's newest pace sensation Billy Stanlake has a towering presence on the field. Despite earning his maiden call-up to Australia's one-day international squad in January 2017, Stanlake has only now started to make waves, so much so that former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes that the 23-year old has all the skills to become one of the "all-time great fast bowlers".

Ponting was the team's assistant coach in the Trans-Tasman T20 tri-series involving Australia, England and New Zealand. And Stanlake, who came second in the bowling chart with eight wickets from five games in the series, praised the World Cup-winning skipper for his help.

"Yeah, Punter (Ponting) was awesome to have around the group. From the very start, he instilled a lot of confidence in me and the group as well," Stanlake, who was signed by the Sunrisers Hyderabad for base price of Rs. 50 lakh, told Sportstar.

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"After the first game, he said I had found a blueprint going forward that would trouble the best batters around the world. So to hear him say such great things was wonderful. His overall knowledge and approach to the game everyone just seemed to feed off," he added.

His strong point as a fast bowler, the Queenslander says, "I think (my strength) is being able to mix my height and speed as well as being fairly accurate which is continuing to get better with more cricket I start playing."

Meanwhile, Stanlake expressed optimism about doing well in Indian conditions. "I’ve been over to the sub-continent a few times, so I have a bit of an idea of what to expect now," he said.

However, back injuries have caused problems for Stanlake in the past. Considering the amount of international cricket that's being played these days, how does he stave off the burn-out during his downtime?

"Cricket Australia have got me on a gym program that I work on while I’m away. This keeps me fit and ready to go. With my bowling, it’s just about keeping my workloads up to stay match ready," he said.

Stanlake, who was with the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2017, featured in only two games last season. After travelling thousands of miles - away from home for nearly two months -  is it disheartening when enough number of matches don't come your way?

"It can be frustrating and sometimes you don’t even get to travel with the team so you can end up staying back in the team hotel.

"If you have mates around you it always makes this easier. Last year I had Travis Head with me at RCB and it was good to hang out with him when we both didn’t play."

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