James Faulkner
James Faulkner

Australia will have to deal with a simple equation in Barbados and James Faulkner has also taken a simple approach into his first do-or-die one-day encounter since the 2015 World Cup final.

Ever since making his debut in February 2013 the Tasmanian all-rounder took very little time to establish himself as a key part of Australia’s ODI squad, playing 44 among the 50 matches including his man-of-the-match performance in the World Cup final against New Zealand last year.

But the 26-year-old Australian has only played nine of his country’s 19 ODIs since that thrilling encounter at the MCG 15 months ago, a drink-driving misdemeanour in England last year, persistent injury and selection dilemma kept him on the sidelines.

He was not even selected for the first two games of this tri-series in West Indies as Australia chose a spin-heavy attack at Guyana’s Providence Stadium according to the condition.

But having returned to the team in St Kitts last week, where he emerged as one of Australia’s most economical bowlers at the tiny Warner Park, Faulkner is looking to resume a more regular spot in the first eleven.

“Anytime you miss cricket, it definitely hurts,” he said ahead of Australia’s must-win clash against the West Indies at Kensington Oval.

“I’d be lying if I said (it didn’t).

 “I want to play in all conditions and do whatever I can to play as many games for my country as I can.

“I obviously had a conversation with the selector. I just want to play in every single condition. I think I do well on slow wickets and I think I do well on fast wickets.

“A lot of it depends on the dynamic of the team and the make-up of the team.

“I can control what I can control. When I get a bowl, do as well as I can for the group (and) when I get a bat, do as well as I can. It’s pretty simple.

“People can write and say whatever they want, but your career stats are your career stats and your performances right now count for everything.” 

Faulkner’s career stats so far suggest he will play a significant role against the Windies next match, as Australia need to avoid defeat to confirm a spot in the series decider on 27th June.

The right-hander has a great career batting average of just under 40 and with a strike-rate of more than 100, these numbers more than justify his role as the Finisher.

Not as he didn’t have enough opportunity to prove his ability with the willow on this tour so far, having faced a total of just four balls in the series.

“I haven’t really had a bat so I can’t really say anything about that,” Faulkner said this just minutes after he had launched some massive hits during an extended net session with batting coach Greg Blewett at Kensington Oval.

“I’m just trying to do as well as I can with the ball when given the opportunity. I’ve bowled seven overs and six overs (in two matches), that’s just the way the games have played out so far.

“It’s been a pretty stagnated series so far. We haven’t played as well as we would have liked and the weather has played a role as well.

“It’s pretty clear what we have to do and that’s win two games of cricket to win a series.

“If we don’t win tomorrow we obviously don’t deserve to be in the final. That’s the way I look at it and I’m sure most of the boys look at it the same way.”

The major concern ahead of the clash with West Indies is the Barbados weather, which washed out all but one over of Australia’s important match with South Africa on Monday.

However, the forecast, this time, is much more positive, even though more rain is predicted, but Faulkner thinks his team has to prepare for a full match.

“You come here expecting 100 overs,” he said. “Get a good sleep tonight, wake up, open the curtains and have a bit of a look.

“There’ll be a bit of talk but as soon as we turn up to the ground, we’re focused for 100 overs and we can’t control the rest.” 

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