John Hastings hopeful injuries stay away after impressing in latest international comeback
Australia fast bowler John Hastings, who impressed during the third ODI against Sri Lanka playing in his first competitive match for more than four months, is hopeful that he will enjoy an injury-free run in his latest comeback from injury. Following Nathan Coulter-Nile’s unfortunate injury that ruled him out of the tour, Hastings was called up for the remaining three ODIs in the series after being initially named in the T20 squad alone.
Speaking after Sunday’s clash which the visitors won by two wickets to spoil Sri Lankan great Tillakaratne Dilshan’s retirement party, Hastings revealed the tough times he has endured after an ankle injury brought an end to his IPL journey with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
"I've done a lot of hard work over this last four or five months and haven’t played since the IPL,” Hastings said. "I felt a bit sore two weeks into the IPL and had a stress fracture in my left ankle and it was going to be the same recovery time. So the doctors thought it would be a good idea to get in there and shave a couple of spurs off the front of the ankle. It wasn’t a major operation but it was enough for me to be out for a little while.”
Despite being called up ahead of the schedule, Hastings, who has been signed by English County side Worcestershire as their overseas player for the 2017 season, said that he is fully fit now and is hopeful that an injury doesn’t force to cut short his latest comeback.
"I’ve been up there (Bupa National Cricket Centre in Brisbane) for the last month or so just training and doing everything I can possibly do to get back. So when there was a lot of injuries (to other seamers) and there was a bit of chatter about it, we came to the conclusion that it would be a good idea to have a crack at it so I was happy that was the case and here I am.
"There was a lot of faith shown by the selectors and the medical staff in me, pretty much saying I was ready to go, so I’m very thankful for that. There’s been a lot of hard work behind the scenes in getting my body ready and getting back out there, so hopefully it can stand up for a little while longer yet."
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With a lot of injury setback over the years, including a trio of shoulder dislocations during the previous Australian summer , Hastings admits that he is focussing more on bowling in the right areas rather than relying on swing or pace like his fellow paceman Mitchell Starc.
"I’m totally different to a lot of other people," Hastings. "Starcy (Mitchell Starc) can get it up there and try and swing it but for me, I just try and hit a really good area. I honestly believe that a little bit of cross seam and a few cutters, not too slow, but if you can just get that ball in the right area it’s quite hard to hit you back down the ground over your head.
"So I think the length is the key, and just bowling at the stumps. Because if they want to take a risk, more often than not you’re going to be at the stumps. It really is pretty simple, but that’s what I live and die by," he added.