Talented allrounder James Faulkner has already established himself as one of Australia’s irreplaceable short-form players – but he’s set his eyes on greater bounties.
Barely a year into his international career the 23-year-old is entrenched in both australia’s one-day and Twenty20 lineups due to his allround ability.
Pegged initially as a bowling allrounder, Faulkner has shone at domestic and international level as a left-arm quick who can clock the speed gun at over 140km/h and has subtle variations that suit the one-day arena.
But it is his rapid rise as a match-winning lower order hitter that has put him on the back page of newspapers in the past six months – and Faulkner wants to expand that part of his game even more, with a view to forcing his way up the order in all forms of the game.
“At the moment I think my one-day batting has really come along,” said Faulkner, who has yet to hit a first class century but late last year blasted the quickest ODI century by an Australia when he smashed 116 against India in Bangalore.
“I am batting at seven or eight at the moment and in all seriousness I want to be batting up the order at some stage in my career in one day cricket and likely Test cricket as well.
“Whenever I am given an opportunity no matter where it is, if it is in the top six or at seven or wherever it is, I want to take the opportunity with both hands.”
There are few more confident players in the Australian setup than Faulkner, and he’s made a point of achieving the tasks he’s set in his burgeoning career to date.
So it would be unwise to pigeon-hole him purely as a bowling allrounder even at this stage of his career, when he averages 30 with the bat and 23 with the ball in first class cricket.
“It is a matter of working hard but at the end of the day I don’t get a say in where I bat,” he said. “It is a matter of scoring runs domestically and when I play for Australia scoring runs as well.”