James Faulkner ready to face Scotland
The biggest game of the Scottish cricket calendar is just around the corner with Scotland hosting Australia on Tuesday (September 3) in a One Day International match at the Grange, Edinburgh.
Australian all-rounder James Faulkner gave up some of his time to speak to Cricket Scotland Media Manager Ben Fox for the Cricket Scotland Website.
How have you found the conditions over here?
I’m really enjoying the UK, I think that the pitches for the test matches have been very good and the T20 wicket the other night was an exceptional pitch, you could see that by how many runs were scored by both teams.
How did it feel to be part of an Ashes tour?
It’s an honour to get picked in the squad and you’re always grateful to represent your country, I’m really thankful for the opportunity that was presented to me and it’s a shame we didn’t end up winning the series.
You made your test debut in the Third Ashes test at the Oval, what are your memories from that day?
The first day went pretty quickly, everything just sort of happens around you, it’s a little bit of a shock to the system, but once I got into the game it was business as usual and just tried to think of it as any other game by backing my skills and preparation.
Did Shane Warne give you any advice when he presented you with your ‘Baggy Green?’
He gave me full confidence to go out there and told me not to change my game, just do what I’ve been doing in the past, go out there and back myself and do the job.
Allan Border recently said he liked your attitude and that you like a contest, what sort of mentality do you take when stepping onto the paddock?
I like to think I play my cricket hard and fair and I have always done that since I’ve been a little tucker, I like to play my cricket that way. I always like to get into the contest and have a crack I suppose - I don’t like to leave anything on the pitch.
How much do you know much about Scottish cricket?
To be honest at the moment I don’t know all that much but, I’m sure I will in a few days after the One Day International against Scotland. We’ll do a little bit of research ahead of that and have a look at some of their players, I'll discuss plans with a few of the other boys and go out there and try to perform.
You played with one of our Saltire professionals Rauhl Dravid with the Rajistan Royals, what did you learn from him?
He’s a really lovely bloke and a gentleman. I really enjoyed playing under him as captain and learned a lot about playing over there, I really enjoy his company as a person. It is a real privilege to play alongside him.
You’ve of course got George Bailey as your vice-captain, who is also a former Scottish pro - what attributes does he bring to the side?
George is a good friend of mine and I’ve probably played three of four seasons with him. He’s been the captain for Tasmania, my home state, and he’s good company on and off the field and we’ve had a fair amount of success as a team under him too.
It’s great for us to host fixtures like this, how do you think these sorts of games benefit emerging countries who are trying to make a bigger impact in the cricketing world?
I think any time you get to play any nation you’ve got to be on your game. You can see that anyone can get beaten on any given day. They’ll be trying to beat us and we’ll be trying to beat them, it’s pretty simple.
You were at Wembley recently for Scotland v England, how was that?
Yeah we were, we had a team function and there was an opportunity for a few of us to go there, it was the first time [at a football match] for a couple of the boys and it was a good night.
I have to ask, who were you cheering on?
Ahh that is a pretty simple question, isn’t it? Let’s just say it wasn’t the English.
Have you ever tried haggis?
I haven’t no.
No I don’t think so, I’m pretty picky with my food!
We hear you like your lunches, which test venue have you enjoyed the lunches most during this tour?
We’ve had lots of terrific lunches over here but also a couple of horrific ones. The best one by a long way was Lords that was just awesome food, incredible.
Which members of the squad have you most enjoyed spending time with on this tour?
Ohh I couldn’t single out one, I’ve been around Shane Watson for about five months now, first in India and now here. We’ve got some of the T20 boys here now so it’s good to be back with Clint McKay and blokes like that, but to be honest I get along with everyone, that’s my nature. I stir everyone up, and they stir me up as well, so we have a good fun.
What advice would you give to any aspiring young Scottish cricketers out there?
Just enjoy yourself, as a young cricketer don’t get too caught up in it all and take it too seriously as long you are enjoying the game you’ll soon find out if you love it or not. You’ll find out whether to pursue it and keep on playing down the line.
Just keep enjoying it, it’s a great game and that’s why we play it.
James Faulkner has emerged as one of Australia's next all-rounders, playing a key role for Tasmania and the Melbourne Stars in recent times.
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