DYNAMIC DUO: Centrals teammates Tom Gillett and Daniel Skipwith will team up for Queensland at the Under-12 National Championships in Bunbury next week.
DYNAMIC DUO: Centrals teammates Tom Gillett and Daniel Skipwith will team up for Queensland at the Under-12 National Championships in Bunbury next week. Cordell Richardson

Long time Centrals mates push each other to state selection

TWO great mates with plenty in common, but also a contrast in cricketing character.

Daniel Skipwith has confidence in spades. As a top-order batsman he needs that - often times facing the new ball and the brunt of the opposition's best bowling attack.

Somewhere deep in the back of his mind, all-rounder Tom Gillett knows he is a gun cricketer. But he will not tell you that, choosing instead to be modest about his successes.

English-born Daniel, 12, was confident his best was good enough to gain selection in the Under-12 Queensland team.

After a dominant performance for Met East in Townsville - including a 111-run knock against North Queensland - his belief was vindicated. A maroon cap beckoned.

Tom, 12, called his selection "a fluke”. But there is nothing fluky about coming in at five and smashing 93 crucial runs, or taking key wickets late in the championships to help Met West to a runners-up placing.

"I wouldn't say it was a winning innings - another kid scored a 70,” the Ipswich Grammar School student said of his day two knock.

"I wouldn't say it was a winning one, but it definitely helped.”

Fate seemingly played a part in forcing the two together.

Daniel started school at St Augustine's College the year after Tom left.

A budding future friendship was put on ice, until the pair met in the middle of a cricket pitch.

Despite their differing temperaments in the middle, Daniel and Tom can at least agree on one thing.

The two Centrals Kookaburras clubmates help make each other better.

"We've been friends for a while now. There's definitely friendly competition,” Daniel said.

Tom has the early bragging rights - his Met West side pipped Daniel's Met East by 12 runs at the state championships.

Daniel is keen to prove he is the superior batsman when the pair take the field in Bunbury next Wednesday for the national championships.

"Oh, I'll smash him in the runs for sure,” the Brisbane State High School student said with a smile.

Daniel believes NSW will be the team to beat in Bunbury.

"We've got a really good team, but we haven't seen the competition yet,” he said.

"NSW have been training since the start of the year - our team only got picked two weeks ago.”

The two budding stars go into Queensland camp on Friday, with trial matches against an under-35 team and last year's state team their only preparation before jetting out to WA.

Until then, Tom and Daniel - much like the rest of Australia - will have their eyes glued to the TV as Australia host India in the first Test beginning tomorrow.

"Get Virat Kohli out,” were the words of wisdom from Tom.

"(Australia) just needs to bat well. I think they'll do pretty good.”

Daniel was less enthusiastic about the Aussies' chances.

"I reckon India will win unfortunately,” he said.

Confidence in the Aussies aside, at least the English-born youngster knows where his Ashes allegiances lay.

"Oh Australia definitely. No question,” he said.

Best of luck boys.