Stanlake set to benefit in Shield opener
BRAD Haddin has urged Australia to keep promoting towering fast bowler Billy Stanlake, who has the chance to catch the selectors' eye at the Gabba this week.
Australia's tallest cricketer has played just four first-class matches but is pressing strongly for selection in Queensland's starting XI against NSW in the opening Sheffield Shield match, which starts on Thursday.
Stanlake was this week chosen in Australia first T20 squad of the summer and former Test wicketkeeper Haddin - with a view shaped by uncomfortable personal memories - feels the more exposure Stanlake gets at the top level the better.
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"My first impression of Billy was Sydney Sixers versus the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash,'' Haddin said.
"I was near the end of my career and he made me tread on my stumps. Normally when that happens you are disappointed. But I was relieved.
"He was too quick for me at that stage and when you see a guy with talent like that, it is something we need to harness.
"When you look at Billy Stanlake you realise has had incredible upside because he is nearly seven foot (204cms) and bowls at 150kph.
"A guy like that brings excitement and an X-factor to the game. Give him as much exposure as he can get to this level and let him learn.
"He has a great system around him in Queensland.''
The match will be a high stakes affair with David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne and Matt Renshaw among batsmen striving the shine under the eye of selection chairman Trevor Hohns.
Hohns said on Tuesday that Warner, who averaged just 9.5 in the Ashes, would need runs to secure his berth against Pakistan from November 21.
Khawaja is in the same boat but says that isn't weighing on his mind.
"I'll take the wins before anything, as long as I'm contributing towards Queensland wins," Khawaja said.
"Hopefully I am scoring runs while doing it but it's about getting as many wins for Queensland as possible."