Adelaide: Former Australia fast-bowler Jason Gillespie has backed Ricky Ponting’s suggestion of Jake Fraser-McGurk being a future Test player, stating that the young batter has the technique to play first-class cricket and that the decision-makers need to think outside the box at times.
Riding on the back of a prolific Big Bash League (BBL) season, Fraser-McGurk smashed 41 from just 18 balls in just his second ODI for Australia against the West Indies in Canberra. Later, Ponting endorsed Fraser-McGurk to be a future Test player for Australia and even compared him to explosive batter David Warner’s career path, despite his first-class cricket average being 22.39.
“Why not? When David Warner first came into cricket, he played an international game before he played a first-class game. Now look at him 15 years later, he’s a 100-Test cricketer. I think we’ve just got to think outside the box a little bit and not just pigeonhole people all the time.”
“Whether Jake makes it or not, none of us really know, but we’ve all seen the clean ball-striking and he’s actually got the technique to play first-class cricket. The raw talent needs to marry up with performance, absolutely, but the only way you can judge it is by giving them time to go out there and have those different experiences, knowing they’ve got the backing and support of the teammates and the coaching staff and selectors,” said Gillespie to cricket.com.au.
He also called for patience with Fraser-McGurk to bloom into a first-class cricketer. “I think we just have to be patient. Over the journey, we’ll see a player learn and develop, with the hope that they will become more consistent.”
Gillespie, currently the head coach of the South Australia team in domestic cricket, the side Fraser-McGurk plays for, recalled an instance in Sheffield Shield, where the opposition team feared his ball-striking ability.
“We had a game against New South Wales earlier in the year, he walked out to bat and before he faced a ball, they changed the field, and within 15 balls they changed the field five times and had four blokes on the fence.”
“I explained to Jake, ‘In that situation, you’re actually winning before you’ve faced a ball. So the challenge is how can you keep winning the battle?’ ‘You’ve got an experienced captain like (Blues skipper) Moises Henriques, he’s constantly changing the field. So, he’s concerned about you –- they’re concerned about you -– you’re winning. So how can you keep winning?’”
“That’s the question, and just keep thinking about that when you’re out in the middle. The only way players get better is by being exposed and being put in different situations, different scenarios in all formats of the game,” concluded Gillespie. IANS
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