Don’t dismiss this unsexy Aussie spearhead

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and Kane Richardson knows he doesn't need to be an A-list star to still be cast as a leading man for Australia at the World Cup.

Richardson isn't a bad looking bloke by the way - in fact quite the opposite according to some admirers on social media.

But in a fast bowling sense at least, he admits he's not exactly "sexy".

 

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This didn't stop him from being preferred over Josh Hazlewood for last year's World Cup, and as it stands right now a place in the T20 World Cup attack is also his to lose.

It's not easy infiltrating the Rat Pack as a supporting actor when Australia is experiencing a golden age of fast bowling.

Richardson knows there is a constant pressure that comes with being the man keeping someone like Hazlewood out of the team - but his lower comparative profile isn't going to count against him as long as he continues to prove to be one of Australia's most crucial T20 weapons.

 

It’s no easy thing to infiltrate the Australian ‘rat pack’ fast bowling squad featuring Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images
It’s no easy thing to infiltrate the Australian ‘rat pack’ fast bowling squad featuring Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

 

"It's not intimidating or anything like that. I've just got to perform, because my name isn't as big as those other guys," said Richardson.

"My variations is a strength of mine and when you talk about Cummins and Starc, they do it a little bit differently. I'm probably not as sexy as those guys in terms of, they bowl 145km/h plus.

"But there's always a way."

Australian coach Justin Langer made the extraordinary admission on the eve of last year's World Cup, that he thought 12 months earlier, in 2018, that Richardson was done as an international cricketer.

Langer said he didn't know whether Richardson had the "bottle" for the top level, and told him as much.

But Richardson has proven he is made of tough stuff, and his ability to change Langer's mind is testament to the work the vegan fast bowler has put in and his gumption as a cricketer.

 

The unprepossessing Kane Richardson (C) continues to prove to be one of Australia’s most crucial T20 weapons. Picture: Brett Costello
The unprepossessing Kane Richardson (C) continues to prove to be one of Australia’s most crucial T20 weapons. Picture: Brett Costello

 

Richardson was Australia's best bowler in the second T20 against South Africa in Port Elizabeth on a surface where others copped some punishment, and he says the secret to his success is an uncomplicated outlook on cricket.

"There's always pressure in international cricket, but I don't put any on myself at all because this is the bonus on top of being a cricketer," he said.

"It's playing international cricket. For me, I've said all along, I try and have fun when I've played for the Renegades and for South Australia, and if I do well enough then I play (for Australia), if I don't, then I'll stay there.

"So this is a bonus. There's no pressure on myself - I just have to keep performing and that's the way it should be.

"Naturally you get better being around good players. It's as simple as that."



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