`Underdog` Faulkner primed to make `a difference` for Oz in `big stage` Ashes
Sydney: Australian fast bowler James Faulkner has said that he is ready to make a difference for Australia in the Ashes, adding that he thrives on performing on the `big stage`.
Although the bowling all-rounder is the uncapped underdog in Australia`s extensive fast bowling arsenal for the five-Test series, but he is quickly winning support for his never-say-die attitude and ability to execute under pressure.
Faulkner, who shares a similar competitive streak with former Oz skipper Ricky Ponting, is a throwback to the `in-your-face` Australian style of play that intimidated England in the past.
Priding himself on being a player for the big moments, Faulkner said that he never loses his confidence, adding that he is backing his preparation and his ability to get the job done once he gets on the ground as he thrives on the `big stage`.
With Australia`s Ashes preparations clouded in uncertainty, however, Faulkner said that he will not take a backward step in his fight for a Test debut against England, although he added that his immediate focus is on helping to rescue Australia`s precariously placed ICC Champions Trophy defence.
Faulkner, who was the second-highest wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League and was Australia`s lone star in their opening Champions Trophy loss to England, further said that the fact that he is not in the Ashes squad is a learning curve, adding that he thinks that he has performed well in four-day cricket at home and is confident of grabbing his opportunity if it is presented to him.
Meanwhile, Faulkner insisted that Australia has not lost the fight and self-belief to beat New Zealand on Wednesday and Sri Lanka next week to qualify for the semi-finals.
Faulkner took an impressive 39 wickets at 20.33 in the Sheffield Shield last season, and his overall first-class record of 125 scalps at 22.34 speaks volumes for his consistency since making his debut five years ago.