Richard­son not short on tal­ent

The Gympie Times - - SPORT - — Rus­sell Gould

CRICKET: Fast twitch fi­bres. That’s how 178cm-tall Jhye Richard­son ex­plains his abil­ity to hurl the white Kook­aburra ball at speeds just short of 150km/h.

Stand­ing next to the rest of the Aus­tralian fast bowl­ing at­tack – Mitch Starc, Josh Ha­zl­weood and Pat Cum­mins – the 21-year-old West Aus­tralian just comes up to their shoul­ders.

But that lack of height never cur­tailed Richard­son’s de­sire to bowl fast, as it didn’t South African great Dale Steyn, who has 419 Test wick­ets de­spite be­ing only 179cm him­self.

And now Richard­son is on the verge of tak­ing his “different” fast bowl­ing frame on to the MCG for Aus­tralia in Sun­day’s one-day se­ries opener against Eng­land. “When I was younger there was a lot of talk about how tall I was go­ing to be but I didn’t re­ally think about it too much,” Richard­son said this week. “Some­one like Dale Steyn has proven you don’t need to be tall and a solid bloke to run in and bowl fast. It doesn’t mean you will be bet­ter or worse, it just means you will be a bit different.”

Richard­son played twice for the Aus­tralian Twenty20 team last Fe­bru­ary but is quite new to the first-class scene.

He hadn’t even had a proper in­tro­duc­tion to Aussie cap­tain Steve Smith be­fore join­ing the one-day squad, al­though the skip­per cer­tainly knows who Richard­son is. Dur­ing a Sheffield Shield clash in Novem­ber, the young tear­away pep­pered Smith with a few “bumpers”, his way of say­ing hello.

“The plan was to try and bowl a few bumpers at him so I started charg­ing in, as you do as a fast bowler,” Richard­son said. “You want to try and get up some­one. I ramped it up a lit­tle bit. I like bowl­ing re­ally fast.”

The ab­sence of Ha­zle­wood from Sun­day’s MCG en­counter could open the door for Richard­son or fel­low West Aus­tralian bowler An­drew Tye to make a one-day de­but.

Richard­son has been picked for his pace, along with his suc­cess for the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash, but knows a one-day in­ter­na­tional is a whole new ball game.

BIG AM­BI­TION: Jhye Richard­son hopes to make his ODI de­but on Sun­day.

PHOTO: GRA­HAM

DEN­HOLM

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