IPL 2018: Sunrisers Hyderabad’s bowling depth boosts Billy Stanlake
At 6’8’’, Billy Stanlake towers above the rest. With that height, the 23-year-old also has the ability to bowl over 90 mph and trouble batsmen with discerning bounce, a rarity in cricket these days.
Stanlake is still short on experience in international cricket having played just two ODIs and six T20 internationals. However, in the game against Mumbai Indians, he hogged the limelight in a pressure match not with the ball but with the willow.
With 11 needed off the last over against Mumbai Indians, Stanlake, who admits to be a genuine No.11, survived along with Deepak Hooda to take Sunrisers Hyderabad over the line. With the scores tied and with Rohit Sharma bringing up the field, he managed to clear the infield for a boundary.
“Sort of never been in that situation before. It was good fun facing good mate Ben Cutting and a different experience than trying to close the game with the ball. Was thinking of trying and get over the infield. Luckily, it just got over the man and went to the rope,” Stanlake said.
SRH – Great depth in bowling
Stanlake is part of perhaps the best bowling attack in IPL. Led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma and the tall Aussie himself, the side also boasts of Shakib al Hasan and spinner Rashid Khan. Sunrisers Hyderabad has cruised to three wins and are yet to concede more than 150.
Stanlake believes that the depth in the bowling has helped him too picking up five wickets in three matches.
“My approach is to be aggressive no matter where I am playing. Entice the batsman to hit me of a good length and hoping that with my pace and bounce makes it difficult to do so. We have got depth and variety in our bowling attack and in T20 cricket variety in your attack goes a long way,” he said.
Plagued by injuries, Stanlake, who switched from Australian rules football in winter to cricket in summers, feels he has worked hard on his fitness.
“Injuries are part of being a fast bowler. You know, I was sort of this height when I was 16 so it’s taking time for my body to catch up. Have done lots of hard work to transform my body to cope with the fast bowling. Hopefully, now I can stay in one piece and have a good run,” Stanlake said, who idolises Brett Lee.