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15 October 201306:37

Q + A with Australia all-rounder James Faulkner

James Faulkner is beginning to establish himself as one of Australia’s premier all-round cricketers.

 Q + A with Australia all-rounder James Faulkner - Cricket News

James Faulkner of Australia in action.

He has played just a handful of internationals to date, but with his positive and aggressive approach, Faulkner has already made a big impression following a T20 debut in early 2012 and a one-day debut against the West Indies earlier this year.

The 23-year-old has been a success story at state level with Tasmania, winning the last three Ricky Ponting Medals, before making his much-anticipated Test debut against England at The Oval earlier this year.

A fiery competitor, Faulkner more than held his own in the coveted baggy green cap, scoring fluently with the bat and picking up six wickets including the prized scalp of England captain Alastair Cook.

Before Faulkner embarked on the India tour with George Bailey’s side for seven one-day internationals, we managed to catch up with him to talk all things cricket – including the fast-approaching ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

Everything seems to be happening pretty quickly for you from a cricketing point of view right now?
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind really and I’ve had some amazing opportunities, especially over the past couple of years. It’s been a busy few months touring with the Australia team, being a part of the Ashes series and also playing with Rajasthan Royals in the T20 Champions League, and I’m determined to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way.

You’re currently spending a bit of time in India, how do you find life over there?
I’m really enjoying my time over here in India. It’s a completely different way of life, and the people over here just live and breathe cricket – it’s really part of the culture. India conditions are a bit of a challenge to adjust to, but everywhere you play the conditions vary, so it’s been a good challenge. I’ve definitely taken a liking to the butter chicken.

Is it tough spending so much time away from home?
That has its own challenges. Obviously playing cricket all over the world is fantastic, but at the same time you’re travelling and away from your family and mates for long periods of time. But playing a team sport means you make a lot of mates along the way, and I’ve made a few really good ones across the teams I play in.

You’re building a big social media following and picking up a few fans on and off the field?
Yeah, it’s definitely a huge compliment when I hear people approve of the way I go about my cricket – I’m very passionate and pride myself on being an aggressive player, within the rules and spirit of the game of course. As for the social media, I’m pretty active on Twitter – it’s a really good way to keep people updated and a bit of fun, especially keeping up to date with mates playing cricket all over the world.

You got a taste of Ashes cricket earlier this year, what were your thoughts on that and what are you looking forward to this summer?
It was a huge honour to get picked in the squad, and then to make my Test debut a few months ago at The Oval. Winning back The Ashes this summer is the ultimate goal, and while England will obviously be bringing out a strong side, we know if we play to our full capabilities we are good enough to win back the urn.

With the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 now less than 500 days away, is the excitement building for you?
Definitely. There’s a lot of cricket to be played between now and 2015, so obviously we’ll be concentrating on that first, and it gives me a really good chance to press for World Cup selection. Having the tournament on home soil gives us a bit of an advantage, and I’m sure we’ll get some big home crowds and provide a great atmosphere when the world’s best players arrive on our shores.

You’ve said before the MCG is one of your favourite grounds to play on, can you imagine playing the ICC Cricket World Cup final there?
I’ve been lucky to play a fair bit of cricket at the MCG, and it’s one of those grounds where as a batsman or bowler you’re always in the contest. Hopefully we can make the final and get a really good crowd in, it would be a real thrill playing a World Cup final in front of 100,000 fans.

As someone who’s made their way up the grades, what advice would you give to any aspiring young cricketers out there?
You’ve just to work hard and enjoy what you do. If you can do that, and then make the most of any opportunities that come your way, you’ll definitely be able to make the most out of your cricket.