Under 17 National Champs 2017
Big raps on U17 Champs star Brazell
Young South Australian picks up player-of-the-tournament award and earns praise from former Test quck Ryan Harris
8 October 2017, 09:21 PM AEST
Young gun Kyle Brazell has a simple philosophy when it comes to batting.
Anything in his scoring zone, he tries to hit to the fence.
But the emerging South Australian surprised even himself with how well that tactic worked at the Under 17 National Championships, with the bottom-aged batsman taking out the Player of the Championships award.
Representing the Cricket Australia XI, featuring the best talent from last year's under-15 carnival, Brazell smashed 417 runs at an average of just under 60 - 70 runs more than the next best batsman.
"It was good to get some reward for all the hard work over the last four months," Brazell said.
"I wasn't really sure to be honest (how I would go)… I thought there would be quite a few quick bowlers coming in and trying to knock my head off.
"The plan was just to back myself really, play my natural game and see what happened from there. If there's a ball in my zone I'll look to score off that. Anything full or short… I'll try to hit it for four."
The side coached by former Australian star Ryan Harris exceeded expectations during the tournament, winning all of their five Pool matches, before being knocked off in the semi-finals by Queensland.
Predictably, Brazell was a big part of that strong run - with the 16-year-old left-hander opening his campaign with 58 against Victoria Metro followed by 85 against Tasmania.
But the Tea Tree Gully product saved his best for when he came up against his home state, smashing 90 against South Australia in Round 5, followed by a brilliant 103 in a winning side as the sides played off for third-place.
"It was really good fun," Brazell said of the tournament overall.
"Being the younger blokes, there was a bit of pressure on us to perform, so it was good to get a few wins."
Harris said he was impressed by Brazell after meeting him for the first time at the tournament.
"Coming into the championships I barely knew anything about him," Harris said.
"I watched a little bit of footage to see what he did… He got better and better as the tournament went on. He probably robbed himself, he could have scored three hundreds for the tournament which would have been fantastic, but thankfully he got one on the last day.
"He looks very organised, he hits the ball very hard and plays all around the wicket which is good at that age.
"I think he's very advanced in where he is and he's definitely a player that we're going to keep an eye on."
A big fan of Aussie star Usman Khawaja - and particularly his off drives - Brazell's attention now turns to making runs at district level back in Adelaide.
Harris hopes the young South Australian will get the opportunity to push up the grades and face some state bowlers in the next couple of months.
Then there's the opportunity to again play under Harris as part of the Cricket Australia XI at the Under 19 National Championships in Tasmania in December, where more runs could see him in contention for the Australia Under 19 squad, which will head to New Zealand in January to plan in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup.
"I've still got a very long way to go. Growing up as a kid you want to wear that Baggy Green, but there's a long way to go," Brazell said.
"I just want to keep performing and keep playing my role in the team and see where it takes me from there."
Harris said he's confident that Brazell can step up at the under-19 level, against a number of players who already hold state contracts.
"It's going to be interesting to see how he goes against quicker bowlers and guys that bowl a lot tighter and don't give him those two or three balls to hit an over," he said.
"It's going to be a good challenge and I think he'll go okay, because he can play all around the wicket I think he'll do very well."