Change of pace helping Morris prep for 'hectic' summer

An 'ordinary run' of injuries has the tearaway quick focusing on nailing his technical cues to keep him bowling faster for longer

Having spent most of his career operating in the fast lane, Lance Morris is appreciating some time to slow everything down.

It comes with a cost of course, but the West Australian tearaway is hoping some short-term pain now will hold him in "good stead" for what's to come this summer.

With a long-awaited taste of international cricket under his belt against the West Indies at the back end of last season – albeit one cruelly cut short by side strain just a few overs after claiming his first two wickets in Australian colours – Morris had been eyeing his first overseas playing experience this winter with Seattle Orcas in the United States' second edition of Major League Cricket.

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Unfortunately, another injury curtailed those plans too.

It was a case of déjà vu for the 26-year-old.

A routine scan at the end of last season – a medical requirement for all contracted fast bowlers at the end of an Australian summer – showed a 'hot spot' in his back, a stress response that without proper rest could develop into something far worse.

The same thing had happened 12 months earlier, ruling him out of contention for Australia's Ashes squad.

"It wasn't a full-on stress fracture which required a lot of time out of the game, but it was what they thought was the beginnings of something that could get pretty bad," Morris told

"So we're just taking the cautionary approach at the moment."

Morris trains with WA teammates Cameron Green and Mitch Marsh ahead of the Perth Test last summer // Getty

The fact he had sent down nearly 80 fewer overs in matches across the 12 months leading into this year's scan than the 220 he had prior to the 2023 check-up made it even more "frustrating" to reconcile.

"I've had a pretty ordinary run of injuries, they sort of all came at once as well," he said. "So hopefully I was getting them out of the way."

As Morris knows all too well, injuries are a consequence of bowling fast, and being able to regularly hit speeds upwards of 145kph makes Morris one of the fastest in the business.

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It's why he hopes this period, with no cricket on the horizon until Australia's white-ball tours of Scotland and England in September, will be one he can look back on as a turning point.

"The main goal for me at the moment is trying to incorporate a little bit of technical stuff into my action," Morris said after being cleared to return to bowling off a few steps last week.

"It'll be a purposefully gradual build up.

"The next four weeks I'll be doing as minimal as I can in terms of intensity while also trying to do some technical work – just get the basics right … without putting too much strain on the back.

Morris goes through some technical cues ahead of a BBL match last summer // Getty

"Which then will allow me to trust my stock ball when I step up to full competition mode."

And it's the slowing down that Morris is optimistic can keep him bowling faster for longer.

"It's bloody tough to hold those technical cues when a bit of adrenaline kicks in and you're versing a batter at the other end," he said.

"I've found that out over the last year or two.

"So I'm hoping this very gradual build up will be a really good opportunity to just ingrain these habits and they become second nature so when I do go into that next gear, I can hold up to going at 110 per cent."

After earning his first Cricket Australia contract in March, Morris' ultimate aim for the coming summer is to be "ready and available for Test cricket" if required during Australia's blockbuster five-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series against India, which again sees the opening Test in his hometown of Perth, a potential dream debut in the Baggy Green.

There's also three ODIs (in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth) and three T20s (in Brisbane, Sydney and Hobart) against fellow subcontinent rivals Pakistan in November that Morris is also targeting.

"There's a tour to the UK coming in September, my sights are on that at the moment," he said.

"Whether that comes to fruition or not, I don't know, but that's my goal.

"After that there's actually quite a hectic schedule of cricket coming up so I'm sure once things get going it'll be pretty full.

"Without doubt, I'm going to be trying to get up and ready and available for Test cricket, if I get called upon.

"(My summer) will look a little bit similar to last year by the sounds, there might be some management in there in terms of missing a Shield game here and there (he played just three prior to being included in Australia's Test squad to face Pakistan last summer).

"It's all been planned out quite well by the physios at CA – it'll be a return to some Shield cricket for WA hopefully and then scatter a few white-ball games in there to keep things rolling.

"We'll start with a clean slate at the start of this summer ... and yeah, hope for the best."

A 'best' that's a terrifying prospect for any batter.

NRMA Insurance Men's Test Series v India

First Test: November 22-26: Perth Stadium, Perth, 1.20pm AEDT

Second Test: December 6-10: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 3pm AEDT (D/N)

Third Test: December 14-18: The Gabba, Brisbane, 11.20am AEDT

Fourth Test: December 26-30: MCG, Melbourne, 10.30am AEDT

Fifth Test: January 3-7: SCG, Sydney, 10.30am AEDT