Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell termed debutant Riley Meredith a "horrible" bowler to face in the nets given the latter's express pace. Meredith, making his debut in the 3rd T20I against New Zealand, returned figures of 2-24, showing that extra pace can still make a difference at the top level.
Riley Meredith claimed the crucial wickets of Tim Seifert and Kane Williamson early on in his spell to set New Zealand back, who were chasing a big total of 209. In the end, the Kiwis fell short by 64 runs with Ashton Agar running through their middle order by claiming 6-30.
Glenn Maxwell praised the debutant and revealed how he got hit by Riley Meredith in a practice game.
"He’s no fun. He hit me a couple of times during the practice game we played, and I had to give him a little word on the side, ‘just keep it away from me, please’. He’s horrible to face: game, nets, practice game, doesn’t matter," Maxwell said.
Maxwell also went on to laud skipper Aaron Finch for using Meredith as an impact bowler and termed the seamer a scary proposition given his ability to swing the ball at express pace.
"When you’ve got a weapon like that in your team, and the way Finchy [captain Aaron Finch] used him was brilliant, as an impact player. His biggest strength is he’s able to swing the ball at high speeds, so once he gets that new ball in his hand and he’s able to shape it away, it’s pretty scary,” the all-rounder added.
The 24-year-old reached a top speed of 152km/h on his debut, and the bowler feels that he can crank that further up.
Meredith also made waves at the 2021 IPL auction, where he was picked up by Punjab Kings for INR 8 crore, the highest price ever for an uncapped overseas player.
Wicket of Williamson was cherry on the top: Riley Meredith
Riley Meredith singled out Kane Williamson's dismissal as "cherry on the top". The New Zealand skipper was trapped lbw for 9 in the encounter.
"I was really nervous, and most of the day, I was playing it all out in my mind and thought about that first ball a thousand times. That [wicket of Williamson] was the cherry on the top, really,” the Australian bowler said after the 3rd T20I.
The 24-year-old proved his credentials in the last edition of BBL while plying his trade for the Hobart Hurricanes. His performance has now helped Australia stay alive in the five-match T20I series, which the Kiwis lead 2-1.