Darwin-born Jake Weatherald has played his domestic cricket for SA and the Adelaide Strikers.Billed as this summer’s Test bolter, free-scoring opener Jake Weatherald knows he must earn it.
That sentiment applies to a baggy green but also every run for South in the Sheffield Shield.
Weatherald has turned a lot of heads with his powerful pull shot and crisp cover drive; earlier this year he became the first batsman to belt a century in a Big Bash League final.
Brett Lee is among good judges who rate Weatherald highly, having recently described the left-hander as the “future of n cricket” and called for him to debut in the first Test of the home summer.
Weatherald is honoured to receive Lee’s backing but acknowledged he must “do a lot of work and make a lot of runs before I get anywhere even close to being picked in that team”.
The 23-year-old will instead have the words of mentor Chris Rogers ringing in his ears on Tuesday, when SA start their Shield campaign against NSW at Adelaide Oval.
Weatherald, desperate to show he is more than a white-ball wizard, spent the winter improving his red-ball game under the watchful eye of former Test opener Rogers and Darren Lehmann at Cricket ‘s training base in Brisbane.
“Chris messages me quite a bit,” Weatherald told AAP.
“He just pushes for consistency. He challenges me, (stresses) the fact you’ve got to do the hard work early and earn the right to score freely.
“That’s probably the big thing we’re working on.
“Not getting lazy, focusing throughout an innings and not having the concentration lapses I would have in the past … the easy option is to hit out and say ‘that’s the way I want to play’.”
Lehmann, the former national coach whose son Jake will captain SA this week, also offered some advice on Saturday.
“We had a chat about preparation, making sure I’m nice and relaxed before the game and just ready to bat the whole day,” Weatherald said.
He is yet to receive any feedback from Trevor Hohns, noting every Test aspirant knows what is required to capture the chairman of selectors’ attention.
“If you’re not playing for the message isn’t going to be anything apart from make more runs,” Weatherald said.