Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
Sydney: Michael Bevan, the former Australian all-rounder was world known for his ‘never say die’ attitude. With the help his match-winning knocks, lower down the order, he made Australia won many close matches. After the retirement of the southpaw, Australia couldn’t really find a true match-winner, lower down the order. But now in young and dynamic James Faulkner, the Aussies have started seeing the glimpse of Bevan.
Recently, Faulkner played a blinder of an innings against England, in the second ODI played at Gabba, to win the game for his team. His 69-run knock came at a time when England had almost sealed the game. Australia were required 57 more runs to seal the match in 36 balls and they had just one wicket left in the match. But Faulkner didn’t give up and with no. 11 Clint Mckay added those runs and that too in style. In his unbeaten cameo he used mere 47 balls and smashed five sixes and three boundaries, and helped the hosts to achieve the target with three more balls to spare. His whirlwind knock not only helped his team to win the match but to give Australia a crucial lead of 2-0 in the five-match series and added more misery for the tourists.
It was not the first time Faulkner had played such a blinder of an innings in the limited over matches for Australia. He had shown such heroics in the past as well and that too while playing against the top ranked ODI team India, last year. His match-winning 64-run knock off 29 balls at Mohali is still quite fresh in the minds of many cricket followers. The bowler who was at the receiving end was Ishant Sharma. Faulkner smashed him brutally all over the park and had almost ruined his career, at least in public image. And then in the same series he went on to score a century – fastest ever by an Australian in ODIs -- after coming to bat at no. 7, though this time for a losing cause.
Even while playing for his IPL franchise, Rajasthan Royals, the 23-year-old made some crucial knocks with bat and proved his worth in the shortest format of the game as well.
Very much like Bevan, he also has a knack to play till the very end of the innings to help his team to come out triumphant. Even Australian skipper Michael Clarke reportedly praised the dashing youngster as the team’s ‘new Michael Bevan’ after his heroics at Gabba.