Khawaja backs Stanlake to stand tall for Aussies

New Australian one-day squad member Billy Stanlake bowls for the Adelaide Strikers during the Big Bash.
New Australian one-day squad member Billy Stanlake bowls for the Adelaide Strikers during the Big Bash. Morne de Klerk

USMAN Khawaja says one-day international bolter Billy Stanlake will surprise a few Pakistani batsmen if he makes his debut in the first of the five-match series at the Gabba on Friday.

Stanlake, at 204cm, is set to become the second-tallest international bowler behind Pakistan's own giant Mohammed Irfan, who stands at 216cm, if the Queenslander plays on his home ground.

Khawaja, who is set for a recall at the top of the innings in place of Aaron Finch, has seen first hand what the uncapped Gold Coast product can do and he is glad the 22-year-old is part of the 14-man Aussie squad.

"I have faced Billy in the nets at Queensland practice, it's not fun,” said the Bulls captain.

"We had Billy Stanlake and Nick Buchanan going full tilt a couple of times last year and it got nasty.

"He's (Stanlake) very tall and he bowls very fast.

"They are two commodities you don't get together too often.

"You either bowl fast and you're not as tall or you are tall and not as fast.

"But he is both, so that's quite impressive.”

If Stanlake does get to make his bow for Australia during the series against Pakistan, he will go past Bruce Reid and Peter George (both 203cm) as the country's tallest international player.

He will join Queensland teammates Khawaja and Chris Lynn in the 14-man squad for the series.

Like Lynn, who is also set for his ODI debut, Stanlake has made his name in the Big Bash League in the past two seasons.

The youngster has taken eight wickets for the Adelaide Strikers in seven games in the last two BBL campaigns.

He also shone on his Sheffield Shield debut in 2015, taking six wickets for Queensland against South Australia.

Stanlake has played four times for Queensland in the 50-over format of the game and said the fact the opposition would not know much about him could work in his favour.

"I think it's my height and bounce which gives me a bit of an X-factor,” he said.

"I am probably a bit of the unknown for the Pakistani side.

"They probably would not have seen a lot of me, so I guess that's a bit of an upside as well.”

Coach Darren Lehmann has confirmed Josh Hazlewood will not join up with the squad until after the Gabba game, increasing Stanlake's chances of making his debut.

Lehmann said it was all about managing the quick bowler ahead of the important tour of India next month.

"Josh has got through a heavy workload during the home summer so far and in the past two months he has sent down almost 300 overs across two Test series against South Africa and Pakistan, as well as three ODIs against New Zealand,” Lehmann said.

"He's not injured but we have decided to give him a week to freshen up at home and he will link up with the ODI squad in Melbourne ahead of the second match of the series, although if one of our other fast bowlers picks up an injury in the run-up to Friday's first game at the Gabba then he could be called up to slot in.”


Mohammed Irfan (Pakistan) 216cm

Bruce Reid (Australia) 203cm

Joel Garner (West Indies) 203cm

Peter George (Australia) 203cm

Boyd Rankin (England) 203cm

Curtly Ambrose (West Indies) 201cm

Chris Tremlett (England) 201cm

Steve Finn (England) 201cm

Suliemann Benn (West Indies) 201cm

Jason Holder (West Indies) 201cm

Binura Fernando (Sri Lanka) 201cm

Topics:  australian cricket team darren lehmann josh hazlewood odi usman khawaja

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