Billy Stanlake has stepped into just second his second year in international cricket and former Australian legend Ricky Ponting already is likening him to finish as one of the greats of the game.
Praising the Australian newcomer, Ponting said "I just love the look of what he's got," Ponting told cricket.com.au. "He's almost seven feet tall, bowls close to 150 kilometers an hour, he can swing the new ball".
"He's got a little nasty streak in him as well – he likes bowling bouncers. When we see him get a bit more of a tank and grow into his body a bit more and put on a little bit of weight, I think he's someone that could be one of the all-time great fast bowlers.That's all there ahead of him, we just hope he stays in one piece and becomes the kind of cricketer we all think he can be."
Talking about injury issues that comes with a fragile frame, Ponting said: "Billy's in his early 20s now, just starting to fill into his body. I know Cricket Australia have got every intention of looking after him as well as they can and making sure they do bulk him up and don't break him too soon."
Ponting feels it is for the specialists to check the workload of the pacer. "I'll let the experts make those calls on where his loads are at and that sort of stuff," continued Ponting.
"I know coming out of the Big Bash and even being around this group, we've been trying to pump his loads up to get him to bowl seven or eight overs a day.But I'm sure if there's an opportunity for Billy to play a Shield game at the back end of the season, I think we'd all be silly not to let him have that opportunity" concluded Ponting on the lanky pacer.