JAMES Faulkner was yesterday handed another shot at international cricket after being selected in George Bailey's Twenty20 squad to face Sri Lanka.
The Launceston 22-year-old was one of four Tasmanians named for the ANZ Stadium clash on Australia Day and the MCG match two days later.
Joining Bailey and Faulkner will be quick Ben Laughlin, the leading wicket-taker in the Big Bash League, and George Town spinner Xavier Doherty.
It will be the second time on the big stage for Faulkner, who took 0-18 from two overs against India last summer.
He slipped off the national radar after that, being overlooked for T20s against the West Indies and Pakistan and the T20 World Cup.
"I'm going to try to make the most of this opportunity and the more games I've got to play in Twenty20, the more my game has developed," Faulkner said yesterday.
"I'd say yes (that I'm more prepared this year than last year). The last couple of seasons I've performed quite well, and it's just been a matter of me just keep putting performances on the board, and hopefully I can do that for Australia."
But the former Launceston Church Grammar School student is not looking further than this series.
"You take each game as it comes. But in the first half of the year, I played pretty well in the Ryobi Cup, so hopefully I can put some performances on the board and play some one-day cricket and further down the track play Test cricket," Faulkner said.
"I feel like my game is in pretty good touch at the moment, so hopefully I can show that for Australia, and if I can get some 50-over cricket I can perform the same."
Faulkner won his selection after his left-arm fast- mediums took 11 wickets from nine matches at an average of 21.36 and an economy rate of 7.34 for the Melbourne Stars.
Batting mainly down the order, he scored 71 runs from seven innings at an average of 23.66 and a strike-rate of 120.33.
Former Queensland quick Laughlin has been rewarded for his 14 wickets from eight matches at an average of 15.35 and an economy rate of 7.16, bowling mainly slower deliveries, for the Hobart Hurricanes. The 30-year-old played one T20 international in South Africa in 2009.
Left-arm spinner Doherty took nine wickets from seven games at an average of 16.33 and an economy rate of 6.12, but has failed to take a wicket in the one- day series against Sri Lanka while conceding five runs an over.
Bailey made 96 runs at an average of 32 and a strike rate of 141.17 in the BBL, and is the leading run-scorer in the ODI series with 137 at an average of 34.25.
AUSTRALIA: George Bailey (c), Ben Cutting, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Ben Laughlin, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, Matthew Wade, David Warner.