Sultan of spin's toughest test
IPSWICH spin sensation Dylan McAteer expects the southern states to provide stiff resistance when he tests his skills and temperament at the under-17 National Titles at Mackay in early October.
The St Edmund's College year 11 student, who featured in a Cricket Australia under-16 XI last year, will pull on Maroon at the championships, which will include matches under lights at Great Barrier Reef Arena at Harrup Park.
McAteer earned his place in the line-up after standing out at a three-day selection trial contested by four possible/probables teams assembled from the state's best players.
The right-arm leg spin bowler, who waited until 14 to make his first Met West team and was emboldened by early disappointments, said the latest call-up was another significant achievement in his career and an appropriate reward for the countless hours he had spent in the nets.
Endowed with depth, New South Wales and Victoria are quality all-round cricket sides.
The Ipswich Hornets second grader anticipates the traditional strongholds to again present the greatest challenge but is confident the men from the sunshine state can best them in the tropical heat.
"We don't want to come back without the win,” he said.
"I reckon we're a fair chance.
"The (Queensland) team is full of freaks and the boys really want to do well.
"We'll need a bit of luck but I think we'll go really well.
"I've put in the work and I'm looking forward to it.”
With the help of Hornets' coaches, McAteer has identified areas he knows he can improve and will look to implement strategies and hone techniques he has been working on in training throughout the 11-day tournament.
Maintaining composure and being willing to toss it up when copping the treatment are important attributes for any spin bowler.
McAteer has also been trying to bowl quicker through the air.
The young leggy has been watching South Australian Adam Zampa in action for the green and gold.
He rates the white ball specialist's unruffled mindset and persistence, and is trying to replicate the approach in his own game.
"He is a freak,” he said.
"I try not to compare myself to him because I don't think I'll ever be that good but it is something I'm trying to add to my game - keeping cool however I'm bowling.
"I try to stay focused on keeping calm, not be afraid to toss it up and maintain confidence.”
The ability to deceive is also critical and McAteer thrives on the one-on-one battle between batsman and bowler.
He said a spin bowler must believe in their own ability to dupe and dismiss an opponent, and looks to the variations of Afghan ace Rashid Kahn and England's Adil Rashid for inspiration as he strives to emulate the game's leading tricksters.
"I try to have an arrogance and be confident that I am going to get the batsman out,” he said.
"I like Rashid Kahd. I'm a little like him.
"He is making Afghanistan really competitive.
"And I also like Adil Rashid's variations.”