Lynn on injury, Tomic and his IPL pay day
Brisbane Heat star happy with how his body is progressing, jokes about how he'll spend his IPL millions
Adam Burnett at the Gabba
28 January 2018, 12:21 PM AEST
Chris Lynn's left shoulder could still be a year away from fully healing but that won't stop the Brisbane Heat's master blaster launching into his next three months of cricket with Australia and in the Indian Premier League.
Lynn made a characteristically quick-fire 21 as the Heat crashed out of KFC BBL finals contention against Melbourne Renegades at the Gabba on Saturday night, but the dynamic right-hander nonetheless had a reason to smile having been retained for AUD$1.86m by Kolkata Knight Riders during the IPL auction a couple of hours before play.
It is a serious amount of money for a man who has just a dozen IPL matches to his name, and who has only played 10 BBL games across the past two seasons. But it also underlines the upside of the Brisbane product, who has established himself as arguably the planet's most devastating six-hitter.
Kolkata could point to precedent as a reason for backing their man, after Lynn – between injuries – offered some tantalising examples of his threat as a match-winner while opening for the franchise in last year's tournament; in seven games, he scored 295 runs, including head-turning knocks of 93no (from 41 balls), 50 (22) and 84 (52). His strike-rate of 180.98 was the best of any batsman with 150-plus runs.
"It's not all about the money but it is life-changing," he said following the Heat's final match. "I want to go over there and play the best cricket I can, and try and dominate over in India.
"I had a pretty good season last year but I want to try and dominate all around the world.
"The last probably two years I really made immense learning under (KKR head coach) Jacques Kallis and (Kumar) Sangakkara and those world-class players. And I found my game has improved (against) spin massively.
"The ball doesn't bounce as much over there so the fast bowlers are a little bit easier, but it's (helpful) working on (playing) spin and rotating the strike and I've found the last two years have been very productive and very successful."
Lynn, of course, knows better than anyone the concerns over his body, given the recurring shoulder problems he has suffered over the past four years, during which he has missed much more cricket than he has played.
The 27-year-old joked about going "to Bunnings and buy(ing) a sh-tload of cotton wool" in order to ensure his fitness for the lucrative tournament, but the reality is far different; next Saturday, he's likely to be turning out for Australia in the series opening T20I match against New Zealand in Sydney.
And while there has been concern that his troublesome shoulder – which he willingly concedes is far from fully healed – could make him a liability in the field, he says all parties are aware of the situation.
"They're comfortable with how my body's going at the moment," Lynn said of the national selectors, including regular advocate and Australia head coach Darren Lehmann.
"They're comfortable with my throwing and diving in the field.
"I would've loved to have played a few more games to get the confidence up but at the end of the day whether I'm playing for Australia or Brisbane Heat I'm putting in 100 per cent.
"To get through tonight was the first step of hopefully a good stint in the field.
"(My shoulder is) getting there. It's not 100 per cent. Won't be for probably another 12 months if I'm being honest. I've just started to throw on my left side now, which is a good sign.
"But I'm not going to rush back – if I do (reinjure the shoulder), there was pretty much no point of having the surgery in the first place. So it's small steps but I'm confident with how it's going."
Lynn only faced 91 balls throughout the Big Bash, scoring 148 runs (120 in boundaries), and is seeking an opportunity to "build an innings", though whether he gets that chance for Australia in the T20I series could depend on his position in a batting order that is likely to be stacked with top-order options.
"I haven't spoken to (stand-in Australia captain) Davey Warner yet, and it's totally up to him," he said with regards to where in the order he might be best utilised.
"I've got to try and slot in wherever I fit in. Obviously, I'd love to be up the top but I've got to do what's right for the team.
"But I'll say my role won't change whether I'm batting one, two, three or four.
"I've got full confidence that we'll put out the right balance of team. If it's myself and D'Arcy Short up the top, or Warner and (Aaron) Finchy, that's some pretty good combinations you can come up with.
"I think it might depend on the opposition as well, with our right and left-handers. But there's plenty of combinations and they're all winning ones in my eyes."
Before that series arrives however, the down-to-earth Queenslander has a brief window to savour just what a significant deal was struck on his behalf in Bangalore on Saturday, and he offered the travails of a young Australian tennis star as a cautionary tale for those fortunate enough to be receiving sporting riches.
"I suppose it's a little bit of a reward from (my IPL performances) last year," Lynn said of the mega deal.
"It is life-changing but you never want to get too far ahead of yourself, because at the end of the day if you're someone like Bernard Tomic, you get shot down pretty quickly, don't you?"