Cricket

Revitalised Faulkner raring to go

James Faulkner .

James Faulkner .  

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Australian praises Kaul and Mustafizur for their variations

Three years ago, James Faulkner was the toast of the cricketing world, having earned the Man-of-the-Match award in the 2015 World Cup final.

Since then, the Australian all-rounder’s career has been on a downward curve.

Having first lost his place in the Australian squad and then the Cricket Australia central retainer, the 27-year-old remained unsold in this season’s IPL auction.

Knee injury

The spirited all-rounder attributed his inconsistent performances to a knee injury that has troubled him for a long time.

“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,” Faulkner told The Hindu.

“My next commitment is with Lancashire in the T20 format this July. I have got a couple of years with them. Yeah, feel freshened up. Body is feeling good. My knee is as good as it has ever been. I am reinvigorated and ready to go back again.”

Faulkner stressed that he was ready to go through the grind to get back to his best.

“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,” he said.

Faulkner, one of the best exponents of the slower ball in his prime, is keeping a close watch on the IPL proceedings from ESPNcricinfo studios.

And, he is highly impressed with two pacers — Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Siddharth Kaul and Mumbai Indians’ Mustafizur Rahman — as far as variations are concerned.

“I like the knuckle ball 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,” he said.

Faulkner is confident pacers will continue to improvise. “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 said.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 11:36:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/revitalised-faulkner-raring-to-go/article23702271.ece

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