By Ronan Alexander
Born in Western Australia, right-arm quick Jhye Richardson has lit up the Big Bash League by leading the wicket taking charts with 18 scalps and has been touted for an Australia re-call as well as being drafted into the IPL.
The 24-year-old made his senior debut back in 2015, for Western Australia, before accelerating onto the international scene only 16 months later, taking 1/24 off three overs against Sri Lanka in Geelong. That was a reward for his excellent form during BBL06 where he picked up the man-of-the-match award for his display in the final (3/30) helping the Scorchers to victory. His form has earned him international honours across all thee formats by the age of 22.
Despite the outstanding successes, he has had his fair share of setbacks along the way, with a recurring shoulder problem which first occurred after a dislocation against Pakistan when fielding on the boundary in 2019. The injury meant he missed the 2019 World Cup and the knock didn’t go away easily. However, in April 2020 he went through surgery and returned to full fitness for BBL10 and has took the tournament by storm.
Style of play
A right-arm quick where opening the bowling has been a massive stand-out during BBL10. From 13.1 overs (79 balls) in the first four overs, he has conceded only 57 runs and collected six wickets. An economy rate of 4.35 in the first four overs of matches. Incredible.
The fact he is prepared to step up to the big occasion and bowl at difficult times is another key attribute. This heavily involved role requires a broader skillset which he has clearly developed and fine-tuned. For example, in his last match against Hobart Hurricanes on Tuesday, he opened the bowling with two overs at the top including a wicket maiden, bowled in the power surge and then at the death by bowling the final over, ending with figures of 4-1-23-1. He is currently Perth Scorchers go-to bowler, collecting 30.5% of the team’s wickets, which before their match against the Hurricanes, was the highest in the competition and is highly regarded by coach and former teammate Adam Voges. Bowling in tandem with Andrew Tye could be a huge deciding factor on how far the Scorchers can go in the tournament as they have turned round their poor start to leap into third place in the standings.
He has a smooth gliding run up and his delivery stride can often deceive the batsman as the ball comes onto them quicker than they expect as demonstrated below with a rapid bouncer and absolute jaffa for want of a better word.
His nippy pace regularly hits 140kph which is getting back to his maximum following the previous shoulder injuries. His accuracy throughout the tournament has been an exceptional quality as he has proven to nail his yorkers at the death.
Variations are also vital in the shorter forms of the game and he bowled by leaping off his right foot to give himself a wider angle on the crease which almost caught out Danny Briggs in a match against Adelaide earlier in the competition. Also happy to operate from both over and round the wicket, creating more different angles.
He clearly has the full package if BBL10 is anything to go by. Outstanding economy up front, trusted in the power surge and nailing his Yorkers at the death. His stats back it up too, top wicket taker on 18 at an average of 11.16 with an economy rate as low as 6.34, strike rate at 10.5 and a best of 4/24. What more could you want?
He also comes across well in interviews, speaking with maturity, confidence and a real enthusiasm for the game which can be seen during an interview with Cricket World prior to BBL10 kicking off. That type of attitude and characteristics can only stand him in good stead.
Having already played in all three formats for the Aussies, a re-call to the T20 side for the upcoming series away to New Zealand next month could be on the horizon. The five-match series begins on February 22nd. During Australia’s last T20 series against India, the attack was spearheaded by Mitchell Starc, Sean Abbott and Richardson’s Perth teammate Tye.
Looking beyond this upcoming series, the IPL draft takes place on 11th February and Richardson has to surely get picked up in the auction for his first major T20 tournament outside Australia. With more and more global tournaments taking place, Richardson undoubtedly has the ability to excel at that level. Fans of Chennai Super Kings, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders have already expressed their admiration for him on social media and he is a wanted man for the next IPL.
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