Bartlett soaks in surreal debut that 'feels like a dream'

A superb KFC BBL has thrust Xavier Bartlett into the national team but the Queenslander is keeping a level head

Every ball of Bartlett's brilliant opening spell

Tony Dodemaide delivered Xavier Bartlett the news every cricketer hopes to hear and perhaps a little bit of him rubbed off on the young quick as he went within a whisker of breaking the national selector's record for the best men's figures on ODI debut for Australia.

The 25-year-old Queenslander topped an outstanding few months with a dream international debut at the MCG, claiming a wicket in his first over and another in his second before adding two more to finish with 4-17 off nine overs.

It put him second only to Dodemaide's 5-21 at the WACA Ground in 1988 for the best start with the ball to an Australian one-day career, with his feat even more remarkable for the fact that it was his first 50-over match since September 2022.

Dodemaide's day out with record debut haul

An international debut was so far from Bartlett's thinking at the start of the summer – when he returned from a club stint in the UK with a back stress injury and didn't play for Queensland prior to KFC BBL|13 – that even after his performance on Friday night, he admits it "feels like it's not real".

And despite coming into the series as the BBL|13's leading bowler, he's adamant he's still a long way down Australia's fast bowling pecking order.

"We've got so many great fast bowlers at the moment," he said after spearheading Friday night's eight-wicket demolition of the West Indies in the first ODI at the MCG.

Australia v West Indies | First ODI

"Obviously, (Mitchell) Starc, (Josh) Hazlewood and (Pat) Cummins are the top three to do it for Australia or in that conversation.

"And then I only really got my chance through Jhye Richardson's injury and Nathan Ellis was injured as well so there's definitely a long list of people in front of me.

"I've just got to keep trying to do my best, and for Queensland, and if I get an opportunity at the higher level I've just got to try and take it and learn as much as I can as well along the way."

Debut was 'everything you dream of' for Bartlett

A wicket with his third delivery no doubt helped ease the nerves in his first game in national colours, but more so was the presence of longtime state teammate Marnus Labuschagne who presented Bartlett with Australian ODI cap No.244 and took the catch to complete his fourth wicket.

"Having Marnus there is a big relief as well because you do know someone really well, but the whole group were really welcoming to me," he said.

"Playing a lot with Marnus and having a great relationship with him off the field and he's someone I look up to so much, so for him to say some really nice things meant a lot to me and my family.

'Just the beginning': Bartlett, Morris receive ODI caps

"It's just happened so fast; I had the Big Bash campaign, was injured at the start of this year and didn't have a chance to play any domestic cricket which is a frustrating time.

"But you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and you've just got to keep trying to work hard because these days don't happen very often in the game of cricket."

And while he doesn't yet know if he'll play the entire series with Victorian Will Sutherland also in the squad for the games to come at the SCG (Sunday) and Manuka Oval (Tuesday) as Australia look to build their depth at the beginning of another World Cup cycle, his method will remain the same if he does and as it did throughout his career-best Big Bash campaign.

Every wicket: Bartlett's career-best in championship season

"With a new ball, nothing really changes, you're always trying to pitch it up and swing it," Bartlett said.

"When the ball stops swinging and obviously with a longer Powerplay (in ODIs), bring the length back and keep the stumps in play a bit more and not give too much width.

"And then also during the middle, just keep trying to smash the top of the stumps, that's what we spoke about (being) the best length to bowl.

"It sounds very simple but at times can be very hard, I've had many days where I bowl the same as I did tonight and I've gone 0-70 so it's just one of those things."

Men's Dettol ODI Series v West Indies

February 2: Australia won by eight wickets

February 4: SCG, 2.30pm AEDT

February 6: Manuka Oval, Canberra 2.30pm AEDT

Australia ODI squad: Steve Smith (c), Travis Head (vc), Sean Abbott, Xavier Bartlett, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Cameron Green, Aaron Hardie, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Lance Morris, Matt Short, Will Sutherland, Adam Zampa

West Indies ODI squad: Shai Hope (c), Alzarri Joseph, Alick Athanaze, Teddy Bishop, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Tevin Imlach, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Men's Dettol T20I Series v West Indies

February 9: Blundstone Arena, Hobart 7.00pm AEDT

February 11: Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT

February 13: Perth Stadium, 7pm AEDT

Australia T20I squad: Mitchell Marsh (c), Sean Abbott, Jason Behrendorff, Tim David, Nathan Ellis, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Matt Short, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa

West Indies T20I squad: Rovman Powell (c), Shai Hope, Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas