Billy can make it a tall order for visiting Redbacks
QUEENSLAND paceman Billy Stanlake grew up idolising Brett Lee and his fearsome pace.
The 21-year-old should get an opportunity to try and emulate the former Australian fast bowler, and is rated a strong chance to make his first-class debut for the Bulls against South Australia in the Sheffield Shield clash at the Gabba starting today.
Redbacks captain Travis Head looms as one of the key wickets for the Bulls attack, and Stanlake enjoyed dismissing his former Australian under-19 teammate in the Matador Cup one-day competition.
Stanlake took 2-43 in Queensland's tight one-wicket loss to South Australia and, knowing Head likes to play off the front foot, dismissed him with a bouncer.
The Bulls quick stands at a towering 204cm - the same height as legendary West Indian quick Joel Garner, can deliver the ball at over 140kmh, and is known for generating good outswing.
But despite the adrenaline of making his expected first-class debut today, he played down any talk of sending down some more chin music - to Head in particular.
"Not at the Gabba. You aim to be pitching the new ball up early there and get it swinging and have the batsmen playing at the ball," Stanlake told APN.
"I enjoyed watching Brett Lee bowl. I like to get some extra pace and bounce with my height, and try to get the ball swinging."
Stanlake impressed for the Bulls in the Matador Cup, also taking 4-37 against Western Australia, including the prized scalps of fringe Test batsmen Cameron Bancroft and Shaun Marsh.
The Gold Coast product has come a long way in 12 months, after being sidelined with back stress fractures for all of last season, his rookie summer at the Bulls. "It's really exciting to be here now - it was a long season last summer," he said.
The Bulls side is in a rebuilding phase in 2015/16, but fellow youngster Sam Heazlett, 20, impressed in his team's three-wicket win over Tasmania, scoring 129 on debut.
"It was a great effort by Sam on debut. We've got some good young players coming through, but we know we've also got to be a little patient," Stanlake said.
"It helps having (37-year-old all-rounder) James Hopes around - he's got so much knowledge on the game so it's good for me to pick his brains."