New Delhi: Very seldom has it happened when die-hard cricket aficionados required players to turn their back towards the cameras to be recognized. But that's how the new kids on the Australian bowling block are being received - with inscriptions on the back of their jerseys.
While pacer Clint McKay should thank IPL for familiarity, it's the likes of Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc and John Hastings who need to introduce themselves.
A combination of injuries and rotation policy has seen first-hand picks Peter Siddle, Shaun Tait and Mitchell Johnson warming couches in their living rooms back home while a rookie lineup bears the brunt of Indian young guns plundering runs in a rain-marred ODI series.
For those who are still trying to figure out these rookies running in wearing Australian colours, let us be the one to introduce them to you.
Clint McKay: Right-arm fast-medium bowler first bursted onto the scene in 2009 when he played his first Test match against West Indies. Though he was not at his best on his debut, he was able to knock out West Indian batsman Denesh Ramdin. He was then picked up for the Test series against New Zealand but was not able to feature in any Test. He has been regularly used in the one-day format. He has 25 wickets to his name in just 13 matches at an average of 22.28. He is the perfect fit in Australian one-day side and has a knack of picking wickets at regular intervals. He has established himself in the T20 format as well with 40 wickets in 29 matches. He appears to be more or less certain to be picked in the Australian World Cup squad.
Mitchell Starc: Born in New South Wales, this young 20-year-old bowler has been touted as the next big thing in world cricket. He is one of the most exciting prospect coming up in the Australian ranks. Though he is still to pick up an ODI wicket, he has impressed with his speed and bounce in the First Class matches. He also has the ability to chip in with a few runs down the order.
John Hastings: A tall right-arm fast-medium bowler, Hastings is also a powerful striker of the ball lower down the order and has thrived since moving from New South Wales three years ago. He was Victoria's leading wicket-taker in all three competitions, played in the final in all three formats and was named the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year. He has taken 52 Test wickets in first-class format in just 15 matches. He has played just one ODI and impressed with his superb line and length and helped himself to a couple of wickets. He has good control over his pace and has good variation up his sleeves.
Steven Smith: Steven Smith has been seen as one of the most promising leg-spinner emerging in Australia after the legendary Shane Warne. He also has the ability to bat and can give opponent bowlers a hard time. At the age of 21, he was given the call by national selectors and were picked up in all the three formats of the game. He is also one of the brilliant fielders in this Australian side. He is never afraid to put his body on the line while fielding. Words of caution were sounded about his early rising, but his talent was apparent, though he still has a long way to go to fill the big shoes of Shane Warne.