'It's all about bowling fast'

Stanlake makes impression

'It's all about bowling fast'

Not many cricketers can make even the likes of Chris Gayle look small and that would definitely hold good until one meets Billy Stanlake.

But behind the 204 centimetres (6’7”) exterior is a soft-spoken, good-natured 22-year-old who is still soaking in the Indian Premier League thrill.

“It’s been a great experience so far. I actually never expected to be given a game that early and to play in front of massive home support was really fantastic,” said the Autralian pacer who was picked in the auction by Royal Challengers Bangalore for Rs 30 lakh.

For Stanlake, who plys his trade for Queensland in Australian domestic cricket, the M Chinnaswamy stadium pitch will be a whole lot different than bowling at the Gabba. But he expressess his surprise at the nature of the Bengaluru wicket.

“For me it’s all about bowling fast and being aggressive so in terms of that, not much will change wherever I play. I was lucky in my first game since the wicket here (M Chinnaswamy) had plenty of pace and carry, which aided me pretty nicely.”

For Stanlake, who made his international debut against Pakistan in January this year, cricket wasn’t the only career option.

His father Warren Stanlake and brother Jack have played in the Australian Rules Football League (AFL) so it was only natural for Stanlake to follow suit.
Switching sports

But Stanlake played cricket simultaneously and it was at 16 years of age that he decided to pursue the sport over the AFL. “I stopped playing football when I was 16 because cricket became a lot more serious but I still love my football and enjoy it till date. I had to make the decision because I was picked for the Australia under-19 side and you can’t be getting bashed on the football pitch at the same time,” he chuckles.

For a young man, who is just one-game old in his international career, sharing a dressing room with players like Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Gayle could be intimidating but for Stanlake, who is said to be the tallest Australian pacer, it is a learning experience.

“They bring such knowledge to the game in different situations, it’s just fascinating. Also with Dan (Daniel Vettori) he’s been really great. He never puts pressure on you and is always calm in every situation,” he said.
DH News Service     

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