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Sunday, Aug 25, 2019

IPL 2019: Ashton Turner hopes to get lucky with World Cup selection

While his exploits for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League made people take notice of his big-hitting ability, it was his stunning 43-ball 84 against India in the Mohali ODI last month that re-enforced his talent.

cricket Updated: Apr 07, 2019 09:58 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
File image of Ashton Turner
File image of Ashton Turner(AFP)

It hasn’t been long since Ashton Turner began playing international cricket but the young Australian is already being touted as the one for the future.

While his exploits for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League made people take notice of his big-hitting ability, it was his stunning 43-ball 84 against India in the Mohali ODI last month that re-enforced his talent.

Ashton would be hoping to make the cut for the World Cup. He admitted that return of Steve Smith and David Warner have pushed him out of contention but remained hopeful of getting an outside chance to play in the marquee event.

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“Both Steve Smith and David Warner are back from the bans on them and they have been Australia’s backbone. It will be tough for me to find a place in the Australia team for the World Cup, and the selectors might have actually finalised the team by now. Still, I would give my best and remain fit for any kind of challenge. You never know if someone is unavailable and someone else gets the chance, like I did when Stoinis got injured in Mohali,” said Ashton, who is back in India to play in the IPL for Rajasthan Royals.

After Australia’s eight ODI wins on the trot which included series wins against India and Pakistan, head coach Justin Langer had pointed out that one or two players will be “brutally unlucky” to miss out on World Cup selection.

At the moment though, Turner is more focussed on performing well in his maiden IPL. He made his ODI debut last month. The tall and lanky batsman is now spending time with Smith in the Rajasthan Royals camp. Be it the practice nets, pool sessions or table tennis sessions, Turner is spending quality time with Smith and “chewing on his brains”.

“It is my first IPL. I am excited to go out there and represent my team. Having played in Big Bash for a long time, I know T20 cricket generates interest. I would like to take back home this experience and grow as a cricketer. Steve has been talking to me a lot and making me comfortable. Also, I am looking forward to learn from Shane Warne and play my game,” said Turner, who was bought by Rajasthan Royals for Rs 50 lakh.

So, has the Mohali knock changed his life?

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“Not really. It was very humbling to receive compliments from everyone. But I just did my job and enjoyed the innings. I think cricket is followed rather passionately in India and the fact we beat India that day the knock received much attention.

“I like to believe every sportsperson has his or her journey. It was great to get such an exposure. I would like to build on that and not play like, say Virat Kohli, Jos Buttler or Steve Smith but be myself. I am not a good or worst player because of one innings. Hopefully, I would like to repeat more such innings in the future.”

A handy off-break bowler, Turner started off as a pacer but a freak injury at 14 made him switch to spin. Born to an engineer father and a radiologist mother in Perth, he grew up playing various sports like golf, football, athletics but it was cricket that found his fancy.

“Once I watched Damien Martyn score a breezy century and then there was Gilly another time. Such knocks blew my mind. I knew I wanted to be like them,” he said.

But cricket is not everything in Turner’s life. His 16-month-old daughter and his partner back in Perth help him take his mind off from the game. “I also enjoy playing guitar when not playing cricket,” he said.

He may have to wait a little longer to play his first IPL game as Rajasthan have a heavy overseas batting order with Smith, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes in the ranks but when the opportunity presents, Turner is ready to grab it with both hands and unleash his prowess with the bat.

First Published: Apr 07, 2019 08:48 IST

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