England v Australia T20Is - Men's
Hurricane Riley ready to be unleashed on England
Tasmanian speed demon admits if he isn't bowling fast, 'there's probably not much point going over' to the UK for his maiden international tour
21 August 2020, 05:33 PM AEST
Uncapped speedster Riley Meredith has never set foot on a cricket field in England, but he has crystal clarity about how he'll bowl if summoned for an international debut during Australia's upcoming tour to the UK.
The 24-year-old Tasmanian has been included in the 21-man touring party because of his express bowling pace that is routinely around 150kph, and he has no intention of throttling back if given a crack against England's world champion ODI batting line-up.
England have won six of the past seven ODIs against their historic Ashes rivals over the past two years, which included the highest-ever 50-over total of 481 plundered at Trent Bridge in 2018 as well as an eight-wicket win in the semi-final of last year's World Cup which they ultimately won.
But should he be thrown the ball against the likes of Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and England skipper Eoin Morgan, Meredith is vowing to fight fire with fire.
"For me, it's pretty much about trying to go flat out basically all the time," he said today while quarantining at home in Hobart before joining his new national teammates in Perth over the weekend.
"That's why I've been picked, on my pace.
"If I'm not doing that then there's probably not much of point going over.
"So I'll definitely be trying to go flat out the whole time.
"We've got about a week there of training and practice games, so it's just giving your all in those games and practice and showing what you can do.
"Hopefully I can go well over there and push to make that first eleven."
Meredith admits he was "bloody excited … but pretty shocked as well" when told by former teammate-turned-selector George Bailey he had been included in the squad for three T20 internationals and three ODIs in Southampton and Manchester starting September 4.
The right-armer forms part of a multi-pronged pace bowling line-up that includes experienced quicks Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Kane Richardson as well as Andrew Tye (on the recovery trail after injury) and untried left-armer Daniel Sams.
But given the absence of any competitive cricket for Australia's men's team since last March and the hectic nature of the UK tour schedule that crams six matches into less than two weeks, coach Justin Langer has already indicated players' workloads will need to be "managed" during the series.
As a result, Meredith – whose call-up was loudly championed by Australia's most successful Test bowler, Shane Warne, during last summer's KFC Big Bash League – stands a good chance of earning his national cap in either or both of the 50-over or 20-over formats.
"I wouldn't really say it's put that much pressure on me to be honest," Meredith said of Warne's vocal support.
"It sort of goes out of your mind when you go out to play.
"You're not thinking about getting picked for Australia, you're just trying to win the game.
"Obviously whenever anybody puts your name up, saying you should be selected, it's a great honour.
"I've probably got to buy Warney a beer at some stage, once corona(virus and its resultant restrictions) is over."
For two summers in BBL|07 and BBL|08, Meredith played alongside fellow fast bowler Jofra Archer who will likely front England's attack in the upcoming white-ball fixtures.
The pair have exchanged a bit of "banter" over social media since Meredith's place in the touring party was confirmed, and he anticipates that interaction will increase – socially distanced, of course – when he arrives for his visit to the UK.
Like Archer, Meredith generates deceptive pace from a bustling run-up and has surprised opposition batters with his bouncer that can 'skid' off the pitch, as his new Australia squad-mate Marcus Stoinis found to his discomfort during last season's BBL.
But what he also shares with England's fastest bowler is a largely laid-back attitude off the field, a demeanour that Meredith's Tasmania and Hobart Hurricanes teammate Ben McDermott revealed is "pretty soft" until rival batters try to take him on.
"He's a bit of a clown," McDermott told cricket.com.au.
"He loves to joke around and he's never too serious, always smiling and having a laugh.
"If you get into him, he'll go back at you pretty hard but he doesn't need to talk much.
"He's intimidating enough with his pace and speed through the air.
"If you smack him around a bit he'll get fired up and send you off, which normally happens to me in the nets."