James Faulkner reflects on 2017 Australian ODI squad axing

FIRED UP: Launceston's James Faulkner bats at a practice session in Chennai ahead of Australia's one-day international series against India, starting on Sunday. Picture: AP

FIRED UP: Launceston's James Faulkner bats at a practice session in Chennai ahead of Australia's one-day international series against India, starting on Sunday. Picture: AP

LAUNCESTON-BORN James Faulkner has opened up about his roller-coaster 12 months leading into this month’s ODI redemption tour of India.

The Tasmanian all-rounder lost his Cricket Australia contract and was axed from Australia’s Champions Trophy squad earlier this year but has been given a chance to prove his worth in the five-match subcontinent series.

Faulkner, 27, said he received little counsel from selectors following his sharp demise after winning the 2015 World Cup final man of the match award. 

“Anytime you miss out on selection, it is tough,” the IPL veteran, 67-ODI and one-time Test cap said.

“You have to rely on your friends and family and your team mates as well. I didn’t get too much feedback (from selectors), to be honest.

“They said the pace has dropped down a little bit, maybe. But I bowl a lot of variations, so it’s a tough one.”

Faulkner’s on-field heroics during his peak earned him the nickname “The Finisher”, particularly the 2013 tour of India when he hit 230 runs and took seven wickets.

However, he said a debilitating knee injury has made going tough in recent times.

“I have been battling, to be honest, for probably the last 18 months, so it’s been nice to be home in Tassie with my team mates there and hit the gym hard,” he said.

“My training definitely changed. I’ve spent a lot of time on the bike, I haven’t spent any time running other than fielding and net sessions when I’m bowling.”

“At the end of the day it is up to you to bounce back and I am excited to be back in the group.

“I want to do as well as I can and play my part in these conditions, which are obviously different from back in Australia.”

The 2011-12 Ricky Ponting Medallist averages 34.06 with the bat and 32.8 with the ball in ODIs since debuting against the West Indies in 2013.

He will be a key component for Australia, who will take on third-ranked India without the services of injured pacemen Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and James Pattinson.

The first ODI is in Chennai on Sunday.

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