Faulkner views daunting prospect as good opportunity

Australia

All-rounder James Faulkner is eager to capitalise on the opportunity presented by Wednesday's Test debut at The Oval in London.

All-rounder James Faulkner is eager to capitalise on the opportunity presented by Wednesday's Test debut at The Oval in London.

The uncapped Faulkner has been named in Australia's XI for the fifth and final Ashes clash, replacing the left-handed Usman Khawaja. The right-handed Shane Watson, meanwhile, has been promoted to three in the order.

Left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc is the other change, with right-armer Jackson Bird dropped, as the tourists look to concluded a series they currently trail three-nil with a consolation victory.

"I've just got to go out there and back my preparation and my skill and let it take over. I wouldn't like to think it's daunting, I'd like to think it's a good opportunity that I've been given and it's a privilege," said Faulkner.

"In the past, when I've come in at seven, eight or nine, a lot of the time in the second innings you might be throwing the bat a little bit and you can throw your wicket away every now and then.

"Now batting up a little bit, I've really put more emphasis on that and not throwing it away as much. Definitely that's what I've been trying to do and I'm sure I won't be throwing it away this game."

Faulkner, who sports eight first-class half-tons and a solid average of 30.31, cherished a career-best 89 against an inspired Queensland attack featuring in-form Test seamer Ryan Harris at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

"Looking at it now, it's probably one of my better innings. The form Harris is in at the moment, he's right up there with the best. It's good to be in the same team as him this time around. There was a new ball and then reverse swing later on, so it was quite tough and he's one of the best. It was a good contest," he added.

The 23-year-old Faulkner is looking forward to the presence of his father, Peter, come Wednesday's start. Faulkner senior played 81 matches for Tasmania between 1980 and 1990, securing 121 wickets and two centuries.

"My dad is coming over. I always said that if I was ever going to play he'd be the first one I'd call and the first one I would get over. He didn't really say much on the end of the line when I told him but I'm looking forward to seeing," concluded Faulkner junior.

"Growing up he has always been a pretty big influence. He has just let me enjoy the game and hasn't really got too much involved. He just let me do what I do and I'm grateful for that. He has never put any pressure on me to play cricket."

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