Strapping Sutherland on upward curve
April 21, 2017
Powerful allrounder forging reputation as one to watch in Australia's Under-19 series against Sri Lanka in Tasmania
Teenage all-rounder Will Sutherland has the ability to impact a game like very few can.
And over the course of the summer, he's proven that time and time again.
The 17-year-old is one of the stars coming through the Australian cricket pathway, and one of three co-captains of the Australia Under 19s squad currently in action in Hobart.
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Sutherland's reputation as a player who stands tall in the big games, and the big moments – either with bat, ball or both – has him stamped as a real leader within an extremely talented crop of players eyeing off the 2018 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.
Standing at 195 centimetres tall, it's hard to miss him out on the field,
Sri Lanka's Under 19s have certainly witnessed what he can do over the past two games in particular, with a knock of 54 off just 49 deliveries almost stealing victory in game two of the five-match youuth ODI Series and an equally-impressive 49 off 33 deliveries ensuring Australia responded with a crushing win in game three.
"Very happy to get the win, and in the manner that we did, coming back from the loss last game," Sutherland said post-game.
"We certainly weren't happy with how we performed…. We noted a few things we did wrong, and made sure we did those things better today, because we were determined to bounce back from that loss."
If anything, the team mindset sums up the up-and-coming Victorian.
Sutherland slots into the batting order at number five, six or seven, capable of building an innings if early wickets fall, or upping the ante if a platform is laid.
With the ball, he backs up the squad's front-line quicks in Ryan Hadley and Zak Evans, often pounding away at a length as one of his fellow quicks or leg-spinner Lloyd Pope works their magic up the other end.
"It's good to help out when I can with the bat, coming in late," he continued.
"I've done it most of my life at 5 or 6, so I'm kind of used to it."
That role has seen him link up with Austin Waugh on more than one occasion, firstly with the Cricket Australia XI at the Under-19 National Championships in December, and in the past two games for Australia's U19s.
"It's always been nice to have that platform early," Sutherland said. "Obviously batting with 'Aussie' has always been pretty good. We've batted with each other a fair bit, and we know each other's games."
Will's rise has hardly been overnight.
He captained Victoria Metro at the under-17 championships in late 2016, averaging 53 with the bat and falling for less than 30 on just two occasions.
Team of the Championships selection saw Sutherland representing the bottom-age CA XI at the Under-19 championships – again as captain, where he was even more impressive, averaging more than 50 with the bat, and just over 16 with the ball – including a dominant all-round performance of 95 and 5-27 against Queensland.
After his first win as Australia U19s captain – a "massive honour" – Sutherland said he was determined to continue the side's good run.
"We certainly don't want to let our foot off the pedal at all," he said.
"We want to keep our standards high, win the next game, win the series and then enjoy ourselves for the last game."