John Hastings to lead Australian bowling unit in South Africa

Sudipta / 04 September 2016

Australian bowler John Hastings has now become the prime bowler in the squad to lead the bowling department in South Africa. But just look at the Sri Lanka series where he was not even named in the first team, he was just brought to the Emerald island to fill the vacant as a couple of Australian bowlers were sent home due to injury.

The South Africa series will start from next month.

12 months ago Hastings has a shoulder problem and ankle surgery a year before, the pace bowler has  emerged as the key  figure in Australia’s pace ranks.

That is of course into account that spearhead Mitchell Starc and new ball partner Josh Hazlewood will be rested from the series in South Africa.

The squad is expected to be named on 5th September (tomorrow).

“I’d love to get over to South Africa again,” Hastings said on Saturday night.

“If I did have a chance to lead the attack, it would be something I’ve worked towards over the last few years.

“I never really thought that I would get that opportunity.

“But now that I’ve come back and done okay, I’d really be looking to stick my hand up there and try to be that leader for some of the young bowlers.

“I’d love a chance to lead the Australian cricket team’s attack. That would be a big feather in my cap.”

Hastings had joined Australia’s one-day squad Sri Lanka purely for training purpose in recent weeks ahead of the Twenty 20 series which starts tomorrow.

However, when Nathan Coulter-Nile was sent home with a back injury, Hastings found himself included in the side for the third and fourth one-day internationals.

The 30-year-old fast bowler took 2 for 41 a week ago and career-best 4 for 45  against Sri Lanka in the fourth ODI on Wednesday.

Australia’s stand-in captain David Warner described Hastings being almost impossible to get away on subcontinent pitches.

The laid back seamer says he is determined to show he is a threat  not just on slow decks but on the fast pitches Australia will encounter un-South Africa.

“The thing that I really do love is proving people wrong,” Hastings said.

“The one thing that I don’t like is being pigeonholed into certain types of surfaces and all that sort of thing.


“It will be another opportunity to show that I can do it on those types of pitches.

“It will be another challenge but I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to adapt quickly and use that surface to my advantage.”

Hastings’ former state mentor David Saker from Victoria will begin his new role as a national assistant coach in South Africa.

Saker also coached of England, fast bowlers. Hastings says he has learnt a lot from the straight-talking former quick.

“He said to me ‘you’re never going to be able to bowl as quick as all the other guys so you need to be skilful, you need to be able to bowl at the death and you need to have all the different types of deliveries’,” Hastings said.

“That’s one thing I learnt from him very early on and that has helped me throughout my career.

“He’s very honest in his assessment of people and players.”