Cricket 2023: Lance Morris eyes off Test debut in India

Lance Morris has the Scorchers on the cusp of the BBL minor premiership, but the “Wild Thing” has one eye firmly fixed on India as he targets a Test debut next month.

The speedster was named in Australia’s squad for the first of two epic tours this year, and he’s a strong chance of getting the nod for the first match in Nagpur with Mitchell Starc unavailable for the opening match of the series.

It would cap an incredible few months for Morris, who is this season’s leading wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield. The West Australian also gained valuable experience in the Test squad for the recent series win over South Africa.

“I’m going to do everything I can to be as ready as possible,” he said.

“If we’re talking honestly, that’s probably my best chance of playing over there. We’ll see what happens.

“It’s my first overseas tour in a cricketing sense, so it will be a huge learning experience for me.”

Australia will likely go with two spinners and use Cam Green as a third seamer, but that all comes down to the all-rounder’s fitness as he battles a finger injury.

Should he be ruled out, Morris will likely battle it out with Scott Boland for a spot in the side in conditions that won’t be kind to the quicks.

The 24-year-old is trying to get the balance right between red-ball cricket and the BBL in preparation for the tour, with Morris picking up six wickets in his three games back for the Scorchers.

“It’s just trying to squeeze in loads where I can,” he said.

“If I’m playing, then I’ll bowl the four overs and get a few in on top either before or after the game. If I’m on the sidelines, then I’ll be in the nets making sure I’ve got the numbers under my belt.”

His next challenge is on Friday night against a Strikers side that desperately needs to win at home and will be relying on a couple of Test stars to get the job done against Perth’s intimidating attack.

If the Scorchers can win their remaining games, they’ll finish first and be in the box seat to host next month’s final.

“I’ve been sitting back watching Travis Head go about his business – and obviously Alex Carey as well in Test cricket,” said Morris, who bowled to the pair in the nets during the South Africa series.

“Those guys are huge names, and we’d like to see the back of them pretty early doors.

“I don’t think we want to take our foot off the gas. We really want to lock in a home final because that makes a huge advantage for us. We’ve really made it a fortress for teams coming over.”

Morris started the summer as a relative unknown but has become a household name, with most Australians simply referring to him as the “Wild Thing”.

It’s a nickname that once belonged to speedster Shaun Tait, and Morris revealed the roots dated back to his days in Scarborough when a teammate wrote the moniker on a whiteboard in the strength and conditioning office.

“I’ve probably come to terms with it,” he said.

“At first I resisted it a bit so it stuck even harder. But now, I think officially Shaun Tait has passed the baton on, so we’ll take it. It’s been around for a while now, so it’s just white noise for me now.”

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