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Young Bull ready to impact JLT Cup

02 October 2017

Nick Duxson

Nick Duxson

Queensland teenager looking to build on his maiden List A fifty

Teenage batsman Max Bryant admits he had a few nerves ahead of his JLT One-Day Cup debut.

The big-hitting Queensland Bulls rookie, 18, was selected in the Cricket Australia XI squad for the tournament, taking on the opening position in which he has made a name for himself playing for Australia and Queensland's underage teams.

Bryant missed out on debut against South Australia - caught behind for one - as fellow opener Jake Carder produced a brilliant century.

But he took his fellow Queenslanders to the sword in game two, with 60 off just 48 deliveries highlighting the ability he has to find the fence, or clear it.

Big-hitting Bryant opens with a bang against Bulls

"It was good to get some against them, I got some confidence out of it. Now I know that I'm nearly up to the level," Bryant said.

"I was pretty nervous actually, stepping up another level and playing Australia's top level of cricket before an international. It was a big step up from club cricket and underage carnivals, but I think I handled it pretty well. I was a bit nervous though.

"I wasn't as nervous (in game two). It was just another game of cricket really. I usually get really nervous before I go out, but as soon as I step over the boundary rope I'm fine."

It's easy to watch Bryant bat and make comparisons to dynamic Australian openers Aaron Finch and David Warner - players who can change a game in a matter of overs.

Bryant showcased a glimpse of that ability in his knock against the Bulls - particularly in one Cameron Gannon over, where he blasted 16 runs - and said the confidence of coach Matthew Elliott had been a key factor.

"That's how I play - I'm not going to change too much," Bryant said.

"I think that's my role in teams, to try to get them off to a good start and set up the game for the middle order.

"I think he (Elliott) trusts my game at the moment. He's said to 'play your game' and use the power play. He trusts what I'm doing which gives me a bit of confidence."

Brutal Bryant blasts bulk boundaries

Only two years ago, Bryant was playing for Queensland at the Under 17 National Championships.

While he can be devastating with the bat - he's the first to admit consistency is his big challenge, and a real focus for the next four JLT One-Day Cup games and the summer overall.

"I've never faced more than 100 balls in my life," he said.

"(My goal is) just trying to score some runs really, and try to get scores consistently rather than every 10 games.

It's about not playing silly shots. Not taking risks when the risk isn't necessary, I think that's my big key. I usually get myself out, not bowlers getting me out."

This is a big year for Bryant in more ways than one.

Now in his second year as a Bulls rookie, Bryant has been training one day per week with the Bulls while he finishes his last year of school - and following the JLT Cup, will head back to school to complete his exams before making the move to Brisbane to take up cricket full-time.

Then there's also the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup on the horizon.

But for now, his focus is fully on the task at hand, which trying to make the most of his chance to play against Australia's best players, bonding with his CA XI teammates and hopefully surprising a few state sides.

"I didn't know most of the guys before we came in together. The first training session we all bonded really well and got along," Bryant said.

"We've just bonded really well. I think that's what won us the first game (against South Australia).

"I think we're capable of knocking off some states if we get some performances."