Test cricket remains “pinnacle” for Jake Fraser-McGurk ahead of potential debut at MCG

Jake Fraser-McGurk is eagerly awaiting the possibility of making his international debut against the West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) Australian ODI squad member Jake Fraser-McGurk is eagerly awaiting the possibility of making his international debut against the West Indies at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Friday. The 21-year-old Victorian, who had an impressive season with the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League (BBL), is considered an outside chance to be named in the playing XI.

Fraser-McGurk, one of five specialist batsmen in the 13-man squad, expressed his excitement about the prospect of debuting at the iconic MCG. Growing up in Victoria, he reminisced about making his Victorian debut at the same venue alongside Will Sutherland. If given the opportunity, debuting at the MCG would be a dream come true for the young cricketer.

“I haven’t been told yet … but it would just be a dream. Coming from Victoria, growing up there, I made my Victorian debut there with Will Sutherland. If there’s a chance that he and I could debut together, as he said, it would be a nice full circle moment,” Fraser-McGurk shared with SEN Breakfast.

Despite his success in white-ball cricket, Fraser-McGurk’s ultimate goal remains playing Test cricket for Australia. Growing up idolizing the likes of Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Smith, he emphasizes his passion for the longest format of the game. While recognizing the glamour of white-ball cricket, Fraser-McGurk considers Test cricket the pinnacle, a challenging test of skill and endurance against the best in the world.

“I grew up watching Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting and even Steve Smith now who I’m in the same squad with, which is surreal,” Fraser-McGurk explained. “But just wanting to be out there and doing that for my country (is a big motivator). I think kids growing up these days see a lot of white-ball cricket and see all the flashiness about it. But I grew up watching the long form and that’s sort of been where my passion is.”

“I think it’s the pinnacle of cricket in itself is playing the long format for your country. I mean, there’s a reason why they call it Test cricket and it’s to test yourself out against the best in the world for a long period of time. That’s sort of where my head’s at with that.”

While Fraser-McGurk holds Victoria close to his heart, he currently represents South Australia at the state level, having made the move to Adelaide last year. The decision to join South Australia on a full contract, after being offered a rookie deal by Victoria, proved to be a pivotal moment in his career. His move paid off handsomely, with impressive performances in the Marsh Cup and Sheffield Shield.

Reflecting on his decision to switch states, Fraser-McGurk said, “I was sort of a bit not quite sure where my cricket was at. I was mentally a bit not well. I got offered a rookie contract from Victoria, but I didn’t really know what I was going to do there, I wasn’t really in any teams. Then South Australia offered me a full contract and I was like, ‘You know what, maybe a fresh start’s probably going to be good for me’. Then here we are now seven months later.”

If Fraser-McGurk makes his debut on Friday, he will join a list of young Australian cricketers who have made their ODI debut before the age of 22, adding his name to a prestigious group that includes cricketing talents like Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitch Marsh, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson, Jhye Richardson, and Cameron Green.



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