‘Wild Thing’ Lance Morris earns Australia Test call-up

Lance Morris, Western Australia’s speed bowler who is rated Australia’s fastest bowler, has been called up alongside Queensland sailor Michael Neser as a bowling reinforcement for the second Test against the West Indies in Adelaide.

Morris, 24, has had an excellent Sheffield Shield season in which he is the leading wicket taker with 27 and 18.40. He nearly bowed WA to a remarkable victory over the Gabba on Sunday.

Dubbed ‘The Wild Thing’ – a nod to former tear gasser Shaun Tait – after appearing on the scene five years ago in a tour match against England at the WACA, notably throwing a wayward short throw to Joe Root, Morris has developed a reputation for speed radar testing.

“I’m an attacking and intimidating bowler,” Morris told ESPNcricinfo. “I can get to 150 early [kph]. I’m just settling into my body right now. They say that around the age of 26, you essentially mature as a bowler. I still have room to get faster.”

Australia have called in reinforcements after captain Pat Cummins was unable to bowl in the second innings at Perth due to a quad injury. He is confident of being fit for the day-night test, but with a packed schedule the selectors are unlikely to take any chances.

Whether Morris cracks into the XI remains to be seen with Scott Boland, who averages 9.55 in Tests, already there as a reserve soon. He hasn’t played since his stunning Ashes performance last season.

But Morris could add a point of difference to the offense and the selectors might find it worth seeing what he can do next level.

“I think that’s probably number 1 [quickest] I’ve been through it in my Shield career,” said NSW captain Kurtis Patterson earlier this season. “He was fast and it was No. 1 in terms of absolutely consistent pace.”

Australia’s chairman of selectors George Bailey said it was a good opportunity to bring Morris into the squad.

“He’s got real pace and his ability to create chances for wickets is a real draw,” said Bailey. “It will be a great experience for him to be in the area.”

Morris also gave the Indians a workover earlier this summer during a T20 World Cup game in Perth.

“The more I bowl, the more I feel like I really understand what it means to be a fast bowler,” he said. “Hopefully I can keep getting better and keep bowling fast because it’s a lot of fun.”

Neser played his only proper Test match to date in last year’s Adelaide day-night Test when Cummins was ruled out with Covid.

“Michael has been a regular part of the side over the past few seasons and he was just outstanding in Adelaide last summer,” said Bailey.

“He has continued to perform consistently and will be very welcome.”

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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