Australia news January 18, 2014

Faulkner key to Australia's WC 2015 plans

  shares 20

James Faulkner's rare temperament, as much as his powerful hitting, will make him a central part of Australia's already advanced planning for the 2015 World Cup. The great escape Faulkner engineered at the Gabba to thoroughly demoralise England was not his first, evidence of the clear thinking and even temper that has made him so valued by team-mates at the age of 23.

The vice-captain Brad Haddin, who watched Faulkner's innings from the dressing room after being one of several batsmen to fall in the chase while essaying the sort of aggressive strokes the younger man would choose so wisely, placed the innings in perspective. He felt Faulkner had been fortified by engineering a similar chase in Mohali against India last year, and that he had always shown an ability to learn quickly.

"That was an extraordinary finish last night. We were in no position to win the game until James hit the four through cover in the last over," Haddin said. "The funny thing about that, it's not the first time he's done it. He's done it in Mohali before, but to get us out of the position we were in last night was an extraordinary effort.

"I think Mohali's helped him. He understands now that if [he] can get the game deep he has the power to clear the rope at the end. He paced his innings pretty well last night. He's a guy's who learns quicker than most. He's only young but he takes everything on board. He picks up things and puts them into action.

"He has been a part of our set-up for the whole summer and he's obviously an exceptional talent. He's got that competitive edge you want in a cricket team."

Australia's coach, Darren Lehmann, has outlined his desire to bring a strong squad mentality to the limited-overs dressing room, where players know their roles and can come in to fill them seamlessly, whether they start a tournament or not. Harking back to his own playing days, Lehmann has outlined the value of squad players to Australia in past World Cups, from Tom Moody in 1999 to Andy Bichel and Andrew Symonds in 2003 and Shaun Tait in 2007.

Unlike the Ashes success in which the same 11 players pushed themselves through the five Tests to deliver a sweep of England, Lehmann has made it clear that he will need more than a single team's worth of contributors for a tournament that will be played in contrasting conditions - from the slow, low drop-ins of New Zealand, to the faster tracks of Brisbane and Perth.

So the emergence of role-players like Faulkner will be critical to Australia's chances of wresting back a title they lost in 2011, as will the further perpetuation of the winning habit, now well established against an increasingly forlorn England.

"We're trying to put a squad together now leading into the World Cup, so we're giving guys an opportunity to show their worth," Haddin said of Australia's burgeoning squad. "It's massive, every game for us now, because we're fighting for World Cup selection. We all want to be part of the World Cup.

"People say winning is a habit and so is losing and I think that was no more evident than last night. We probably lost wickets at crucial times and didn't close out the game like we should have and no one in our top four went on and got a hundred. England did all that and we won the game. Winning is a habit and so is losing.

"We're enjoying the cricket we're playing at the moment and we've got a chance tomorrow at the SCG to close the series down and that's what we're looking to do. We go into every series hoping to win and we're hoping after last night we can open a few more scars in Sydney and finish it off. It's a massive achievement if we can do that tomorrow."

As for England's surrender of such a dominant position when Australia's ninth wicket fell, Haddin was in no mood to offer any sort of sympathy. "Obviously they won't be feeling well but that's not for me to judge," he said. "We were in a position last night when England batted, bowled and fielded a lot better than us, and we won the game.

"We'll obviously take a lot of confidence out of that leading into this game in Sydney. I don't need to worry about what Alastair Cook says to his team. We've all been on the end of a few floggings from England, so I'm not worried about what he says to his team."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ScottStevo on January 19, 2014, 21:22 GMT

    @Shaggy076, very nice XI! My only change would be Coulter-Nile. He wouldn't make my 15. I'm hoping Cummins and Starc will be back by then. Pattinson is still on his way back and needs more match time (odd we only played him in this match as I thought it was perfect prep time for the upcoming SA series, which I'm sure he'll be selected for), I think he's a much better bowler too. Also, I'd have C Ferguson in the 15. I also liked Paine and with his decent international returns would most likely have him as our call up keeper. You don't exactly want debutants in knock out matches. My spinner wouldn't be Doherty. He does alright, but just isn't good enough and can really ruin a match, as he did single handedly against the WI in one particular match. Maybe that's a bit harsh as I've also seen him go through a team too, but I just have a lack of faith in his abilities at tough times. Isn't Lyon, our test spinner, good enough for ODIs? Maybe go without if we can get spin from GM and MC??

  • on January 19, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    There are some teams running as favorites. Maybe it is time for New Zealand to lift the trophy.

  • Shaggy076 on January 19, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    I'll have a go at my one-day squad for world cup with my first XI named first Warner, Marsh, Watson, Clarke, Bailey, Maxwell, Haddon, Faulkner, Johnson, Harris, Coulter-Nile extra 4 players Finch, Doherty, Richardson, Christian

  • jimbond on January 19, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    For Australia to do well in 15, the direction is quite clear. Clarke should not play- he spoils the balance of the team. There is a fine nucleus of players, the gaps should be filled by 2015. The basic set of players is -Faulkner, Maxwell, Warner, Finch, Watson, Haddin, Johnson. This set contains three proper bowling options and one half-option; one wicketkeeper; four specialist batsmen and three others who can bat. This core list of 7 also provides an option to include two more batsmen and two more bowlers.

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 19, 2014, 2:15 GMT

    Faulkner's century against India that *almost* won them the game was in many ways even better than his winning score in India. But this latest effort was the best of the lot. When Faulkner is there, there is a chance.

  • pat_one_back on January 19, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    One of the most impressive aspects of Faulkner's play is his confidence in his hitting, where as Maxwell for example is looking for gaps through innovation, Jimmy is a cold hard long hitter who lures bowlers into his hitting zone with I miss you hit bait, then doesn't miss!

  • Chris_P on January 18, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    @landl47. Although his bowling figures don't back it up (ODI's), he is actually quite a decent bowler & does, despite his brain explosions, put in a lot of thought into his bowling. His FC figures back this up & the few times I had seen bowl in Shield matches on unhelpful SCG pitches, he has always impressed me with his patience. If we are serious about him as a batsman, then we should be batting him at #6 or 7 for Tasmania. I noticed last Shield game he went in at #6 so perhaps there is a real future for him to round out his batting skills, not saying he can't hit a ball out of sight, but he needs to complete his game. At 23 years of age, he has plenty of time, & the fact he father was quite a decent pace bowler for Tasmania probably keeps his feet on the ground a bit. For test cricket, he needs to get his batting up to an acceptable #6 as his bowling puts him behind quite a few better credentialled players.

  • shammini on January 18, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Keep him in limited over formats and tone down the 'end over specialist' to help him. Its very easy to get carried away and break him down. If he is good enough he will prove himself worthy of test cricket in due course.

  • CodandChips on January 18, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    Promising all rounder. In my opinion the aussies should select him in all forms with the following line ups:

    Test 1.Warner 2.Rogers 3.Hughes 4.Clarke 5.Smith 6.Haddin 7.Faulkner 8.Johnson 9.Siddle 10.Harris 11.Lyon

    ODI 1.Warner 2.Finch 3.Watson 4.Clarke 5.Bailey 6.Maxwell 7.Haddin 8.Faulkner 9.Johnson 10.Harris 11.Doherty

    Not too sure about your T20 players though. Perhaps 1.Warner 2.Finch 3.Watson 4.Bailey 5.Maxwell 6.(somebody who deos well in the BBL) 7.Haddin 8.Faulkner 9.Johnson 10.Harris 11.(Best spinner in BBL)

  • class9ryan on January 18, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    He is been a victim of being called an end over specialist, that's why his economy rates look that high. Clarke should not give that many overs at the death to Faulkner, he is a big prospect but Australia have to find a stable 11 soon becoz of too many pacers in the mix which makes Australia play without a specialist spinner.

  • ScottStevo on January 19, 2014, 21:22 GMT

    @Shaggy076, very nice XI! My only change would be Coulter-Nile. He wouldn't make my 15. I'm hoping Cummins and Starc will be back by then. Pattinson is still on his way back and needs more match time (odd we only played him in this match as I thought it was perfect prep time for the upcoming SA series, which I'm sure he'll be selected for), I think he's a much better bowler too. Also, I'd have C Ferguson in the 15. I also liked Paine and with his decent international returns would most likely have him as our call up keeper. You don't exactly want debutants in knock out matches. My spinner wouldn't be Doherty. He does alright, but just isn't good enough and can really ruin a match, as he did single handedly against the WI in one particular match. Maybe that's a bit harsh as I've also seen him go through a team too, but I just have a lack of faith in his abilities at tough times. Isn't Lyon, our test spinner, good enough for ODIs? Maybe go without if we can get spin from GM and MC??

  • on January 19, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    There are some teams running as favorites. Maybe it is time for New Zealand to lift the trophy.

  • Shaggy076 on January 19, 2014, 11:45 GMT

    I'll have a go at my one-day squad for world cup with my first XI named first Warner, Marsh, Watson, Clarke, Bailey, Maxwell, Haddon, Faulkner, Johnson, Harris, Coulter-Nile extra 4 players Finch, Doherty, Richardson, Christian

  • jimbond on January 19, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    For Australia to do well in 15, the direction is quite clear. Clarke should not play- he spoils the balance of the team. There is a fine nucleus of players, the gaps should be filled by 2015. The basic set of players is -Faulkner, Maxwell, Warner, Finch, Watson, Haddin, Johnson. This set contains three proper bowling options and one half-option; one wicketkeeper; four specialist batsmen and three others who can bat. This core list of 7 also provides an option to include two more batsmen and two more bowlers.

  • Ozcricketwriter on January 19, 2014, 2:15 GMT

    Faulkner's century against India that *almost* won them the game was in many ways even better than his winning score in India. But this latest effort was the best of the lot. When Faulkner is there, there is a chance.

  • pat_one_back on January 19, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    One of the most impressive aspects of Faulkner's play is his confidence in his hitting, where as Maxwell for example is looking for gaps through innovation, Jimmy is a cold hard long hitter who lures bowlers into his hitting zone with I miss you hit bait, then doesn't miss!

  • Chris_P on January 18, 2014, 19:31 GMT

    @landl47. Although his bowling figures don't back it up (ODI's), he is actually quite a decent bowler & does, despite his brain explosions, put in a lot of thought into his bowling. His FC figures back this up & the few times I had seen bowl in Shield matches on unhelpful SCG pitches, he has always impressed me with his patience. If we are serious about him as a batsman, then we should be batting him at #6 or 7 for Tasmania. I noticed last Shield game he went in at #6 so perhaps there is a real future for him to round out his batting skills, not saying he can't hit a ball out of sight, but he needs to complete his game. At 23 years of age, he has plenty of time, & the fact he father was quite a decent pace bowler for Tasmania probably keeps his feet on the ground a bit. For test cricket, he needs to get his batting up to an acceptable #6 as his bowling puts him behind quite a few better credentialled players.

  • shammini on January 18, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Keep him in limited over formats and tone down the 'end over specialist' to help him. Its very easy to get carried away and break him down. If he is good enough he will prove himself worthy of test cricket in due course.

  • CodandChips on January 18, 2014, 14:22 GMT

    Promising all rounder. In my opinion the aussies should select him in all forms with the following line ups:

    Test 1.Warner 2.Rogers 3.Hughes 4.Clarke 5.Smith 6.Haddin 7.Faulkner 8.Johnson 9.Siddle 10.Harris 11.Lyon

    ODI 1.Warner 2.Finch 3.Watson 4.Clarke 5.Bailey 6.Maxwell 7.Haddin 8.Faulkner 9.Johnson 10.Harris 11.Doherty

    Not too sure about your T20 players though. Perhaps 1.Warner 2.Finch 3.Watson 4.Bailey 5.Maxwell 6.(somebody who deos well in the BBL) 7.Haddin 8.Faulkner 9.Johnson 10.Harris 11.(Best spinner in BBL)

  • class9ryan on January 18, 2014, 13:51 GMT

    He is been a victim of being called an end over specialist, that's why his economy rates look that high. Clarke should not give that many overs at the death to Faulkner, he is a big prospect but Australia have to find a stable 11 soon becoz of too many pacers in the mix which makes Australia play without a specialist spinner.

  • Robert1612 on January 18, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    Think Faulkner will be one of the first players picked in ODIs for a very long time. For those criticising his bowling effort, look a the stats for all the other bowlers in the match ... when 300 plays 300, all the bowlers are pretty much going for 60-70 runs, especially now days when you bowl at the death, and 80 - 100+ runs come off the last ten overs! I think after what he has shown in the last few months in the ODIs that he should replace Bailey in the test line up. At this point in time, Haddin has the ability and recent record to bat 6, (AB de Villiers bats 5 for SA), and this give Aus. 5 decent bowling options. Also you would back him to get more runs than Bailey, who was himself selected on ODI form. Anyway looking forward to 5-0 and then bring on the T20s!

  • Lion83 on January 18, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    Sri Lanka, India , Australia will come to semis in the World cup 2015 along with another nation from NZ or SA

  • Bonehead_maz on January 18, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    Faulkner is a talent for sure. Maxwell should have won this match. I'm disappointed in Maxwell not having gone on !

  • xtrafalgarx on January 18, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    @Landl47: He has proven in the IPL he is as good a limited overs bowler as anyone. Even the best of bowlers could be forgiven for one off day i would think!?

  • siddhartha87 on January 18, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    Agreed with Land47 his bowling have been below par as the third seamer.But again Faulkner is one of the fastest learner of the game at the moment.He has already developed a good slower.I think he will get better only with time .

  • ravi_hari on January 18, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    Definitely! Faulkner will be the key for Aussies success in home WC. With him in the XI Auss can shuffle the batting to suit the match condition. I think, Aus should have Finch, Warner, Marsh, Clarke, Smith, Watson, Maxwell, Faulkner, Haddin, Jhonson, Pattinson, as their first XI. Bailey, Nile, Starc, Doherthy in reserves. That would make the team complete and strong under home conditions. They can bring in Harris for Nile as a surprise choice and use him in crunch matches and fast tracks. If all mantain their fitness, they can start as favourites and can re-gain the trophy. I think India and SA will be the other two favourites though SL could be the surprise pack. Aussies should plan their team around pace and use part timers Maxwell and Smith to send down a few overs to speed up the bowling rate. Marsh and Faulkner will be crucial to their succes apart from Finch and Clarke. If Clarke can do a Ponting with the bat, there will be not stopping Aus. WC 15 excitement has already set in

  • PBHAWAR on January 18, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    James Faulkner's IPL Auction Price will go high due to this Performance !!!!!!!!

  • dunger.bob on January 18, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    This is a classic case of maintaining the rage. Note to England. This is what happens when you beat us 3 times in a row. Mild mannered wicket keepers become winged avengers and wayward no-hopers become snarling super villains. .. The moral of the story. Don't, under any circumstances, beat us 3 times in a row ever again. Lol :)

  • xtrafalgarx on January 18, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    He is key, but he is just as much a part of the jigsaw puzzle as anyone else in the squad.

  • landl47 on January 18, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Faulkner's batting has been great, but it has had to be to make up for the fact that his bowling is well under par. His economy rate is about a run an over more than it should be at this level and his wickets are mostly taken at the tail-end of run chases.

    If Aus thinks he's worth his place as a batsman, fine, but if they're counting on him to bowl 10 overs against India or South Africa, look out.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • landl47 on January 18, 2014, 9:54 GMT

    Faulkner's batting has been great, but it has had to be to make up for the fact that his bowling is well under par. His economy rate is about a run an over more than it should be at this level and his wickets are mostly taken at the tail-end of run chases.

    If Aus thinks he's worth his place as a batsman, fine, but if they're counting on him to bowl 10 overs against India or South Africa, look out.

  • xtrafalgarx on January 18, 2014, 10:09 GMT

    He is key, but he is just as much a part of the jigsaw puzzle as anyone else in the squad.

  • dunger.bob on January 18, 2014, 10:21 GMT

    This is a classic case of maintaining the rage. Note to England. This is what happens when you beat us 3 times in a row. Mild mannered wicket keepers become winged avengers and wayward no-hopers become snarling super villains. .. The moral of the story. Don't, under any circumstances, beat us 3 times in a row ever again. Lol :)

  • PBHAWAR on January 18, 2014, 10:34 GMT

    James Faulkner's IPL Auction Price will go high due to this Performance !!!!!!!!

  • ravi_hari on January 18, 2014, 11:29 GMT

    Definitely! Faulkner will be the key for Aussies success in home WC. With him in the XI Auss can shuffle the batting to suit the match condition. I think, Aus should have Finch, Warner, Marsh, Clarke, Smith, Watson, Maxwell, Faulkner, Haddin, Jhonson, Pattinson, as their first XI. Bailey, Nile, Starc, Doherthy in reserves. That would make the team complete and strong under home conditions. They can bring in Harris for Nile as a surprise choice and use him in crunch matches and fast tracks. If all mantain their fitness, they can start as favourites and can re-gain the trophy. I think India and SA will be the other two favourites though SL could be the surprise pack. Aussies should plan their team around pace and use part timers Maxwell and Smith to send down a few overs to speed up the bowling rate. Marsh and Faulkner will be crucial to their succes apart from Finch and Clarke. If Clarke can do a Ponting with the bat, there will be not stopping Aus. WC 15 excitement has already set in

  • siddhartha87 on January 18, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    Agreed with Land47 his bowling have been below par as the third seamer.But again Faulkner is one of the fastest learner of the game at the moment.He has already developed a good slower.I think he will get better only with time .

  • xtrafalgarx on January 18, 2014, 12:25 GMT

    @Landl47: He has proven in the IPL he is as good a limited overs bowler as anyone. Even the best of bowlers could be forgiven for one off day i would think!?

  • Bonehead_maz on January 18, 2014, 12:46 GMT

    Faulkner is a talent for sure. Maxwell should have won this match. I'm disappointed in Maxwell not having gone on !

  • Lion83 on January 18, 2014, 13:29 GMT

    Sri Lanka, India , Australia will come to semis in the World cup 2015 along with another nation from NZ or SA

  • Robert1612 on January 18, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    Think Faulkner will be one of the first players picked in ODIs for a very long time. For those criticising his bowling effort, look a the stats for all the other bowlers in the match ... when 300 plays 300, all the bowlers are pretty much going for 60-70 runs, especially now days when you bowl at the death, and 80 - 100+ runs come off the last ten overs! I think after what he has shown in the last few months in the ODIs that he should replace Bailey in the test line up. At this point in time, Haddin has the ability and recent record to bat 6, (AB de Villiers bats 5 for SA), and this give Aus. 5 decent bowling options. Also you would back him to get more runs than Bailey, who was himself selected on ODI form. Anyway looking forward to 5-0 and then bring on the T20s!