How a Kiwi helped young Aussie in ODI debut
CRICKET: Australia's latest one-day international debutant, Sam Heazlett, says he has a former New Zealand captain to thank for getting him in the position to play for Australia.
The 21-year-old was a shock choice to be part of the 14-man squad for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy series.
He was not expected to get a gig in the first game at Eden Park on Monday but was rushed into the line-up because of a back injury on the morning of the game to skipper Matthew Wade.
Heazlett said he received words of support and encouragement before the game in Auckland from former Black Caps skipper Brendon McCullum, his captain with the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League.
The left-handed batsman, whose appearance in Auckland meant he was capped at international level before playing a one-day game for home state Queensland, looks likely to get dropped with Wade set to return in game two of the series in Napier on Thursday.
Heazlett said that if he did get another chance he would be using the words of advice from McCullum to inspire him to greater deeds.
"Playing under him at the Heat was amazing," he said.
"He instilled that confidence in you, to back your abilities and go out there and take risks because you're good enough.
"He said the same message to the whole team and I can take that into the next few series that I play and into the future, because it worked well and I think it's a good way to go about cricket."
Heazlett said he was disappointed he could not do more to help Marcus Stoinis, whose remarkable innings of 146 not out almost got Australia home in Monday's six-run loss.
"It was just one of those days when it didn't work out," he said of his innings of four.
"We'll see what happens for the rest of the series. If I get another go, then great.
"It was pretty annoying not to score a few more ... I'm just looking to bat longer, be positive."