Brisbane, Feb.6 (ANI): With Queensland losing the services of Mitchell Johnson, Andrew Bichel and Michael Kasprowicz, a new kid on the pacers block has emerged in the form of Ben Cutting.
Cutting has stepped up to the plate in fine style, now heading the Sheffield Shield wicket-takers' list with 25 wickets at 24 from six matches, thus putting himself in the frame for national selection at age 22, reports the Courier Mail.
"With guys leaving and retirements, this was always going to be a big year, and things have worked out well so far," Cutting said.
Cutting's emergence is testimony to the shrewd guidance of the Queensland coaching staff, including Joe Dawes (bowling coach) and conditioner Damian Mednis (formerly with the Queensland Reds), who supervised a plan to transform Cutting's wiry frame to one of an imposing force.
"I've worked hard in the gym to put on eight or nine kilograms. It has really helped my core strength, which is important in fast bowling," he said.
Cutting's progress may seem routine given his pedigree. He played for the Australian under-19 side and his tall action looks fluent and coherent.
But there have been times in recent seasons when he suffered from a cricketing form of the yips, with no-ball problems so severe he once bowled 20 in eight overs for the Queensland Second XI playing Victoria at Allan Border Field in December 2008.
It was not pretty viewing, and one senior Queensland Cricket official felt so sorry for him he phoned Dawes and said, "You better get down here ... the kid needs help."
The pair were later spotted in a private tutorial after the day's play.
The issue of Cutting's run-up became so sensitive that one of the Queensland coaches even asked the Gabba disc jockey to stop playing music when Cutting got to within three steps of starting his run-up in a Big Bash game.
Cutting's emergence has come at a perfect time, not just for his side but also for himself, given the boundless opportunities in the Twenty20 game.
A towering fast bowler, fearless hitter and a bullet arm makes him the perfect cricketer for the age. (ANI)