Queensland fast bowler Alister McDermott is on track to follow in the footsteps of his father Craig in the next few seasons.
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SIX THINGS: As Australia prepares for a huge summer of cricket against South Africa and Sri Lanka, here are six youngsters who show the future of the game is in good hands...
Moises Henriques (25-year-old all-rounder, NSW)
The Portugal-born all-rounder made his international debut three years ago but injury woes and form struggles have taken him out of the limelight since then – until this season. The talented 25-year-old has impressed with bat and ball for the NSW Blues in the Sheffield Shield and made a blistering start to the Twenty20 Champions League for the Sydney Sixers.
He top-scored with a rapid-fire 49 not out and took 3-23 for the Sixers in a man-of-the-match performance against the star-studded Chennai Super Kings, after clubbing three half centuries and an unbeaten 161 in the Blues' opening three matches of the season. Expect to see him in Australia's limited overs teams sooner rather than later if this form keeps up.
Aaron Finch (25-year-old batsman, Victoria)
Already well-known to fans of the Twenty20 Big Bash League, Finch sent a blunt message to Australia's selectors with a record-shattering display in Victoria's recent 190-run win over Queensland in the Ryobi One-Day Cup. Finch smashed 154 runs from 141 balls at the top of the order, passing Brad Hodge's record for Victoria's highest individual one-day score and helping to set a mammoth 2-379 total from his team's 50 overs.
Finch has already shown his class in at international level, where he boasts an average of 104 and a strike rate of 148 from his three cameo Twenty20 appearances, and he'll be pushing for a regular spot in Australia's limited overs sides this season.
Mitchell Marsh (20-year-old all-rounder, Western Australia)
His big brother Shaun has already starred at international level and his father Geoff played 50 Tests and 117 one-dayers, but 20-year-old Mitch Marsh could well be the most talented one in the family. A hard-hitting all-rounder who averages 28 with the ball in the Sheffield Shield and who put a six onto the roof in the Perth Scorchers' Champions League opener in South Africa last weekend, Marsh has 15 years of cricket ahead of him and could become anything in that time.
Like Finch, he's already grabbed the public attention through the Big Bash League and could add to his three Twenty20 appearances for Australia this summer.
Jackson Bird (25-year-old fast bowler, Tasmania)
A tall, accurate paceman capable of swinging the ball both ways, Bird burst onto the scene in his debut Sheffield Shield season. Despite playing just eight matches he was the competition's leading wicket-taker, claiming 53 scalps at an average of 16. It's very early days but Bird currently boasts the best strike rate in the Shield's 120-year history, with a wicket every 36.1 deliveries.
More Glenn McGrath than Brett Lee in terms of pace, Bird is nevertheless a huge chance to join fellow young guns James Pattinson and Pat Cummins on the international scene in the next few seasons.
Alister McDermott (21-year-old fast bowler, Queensland)
Bearing an uncanny resemblance to his father Craig McDermott – a fast-bowling great who made his international debut at 19 and claimed 291 Test wickets – Alister is seemingly on track to follow in his dad's footsteps. The red-headed paceman has made a terrific start to his career, claiming 28 Shield wickets at 15.96 and 16 Ryobi One-Day Cup wickets at 18.87 last summer.
That record earned him a spot in Australia's one-day international and Twenty20 tour squads for the recent series against Pakistan, and has put his name in the minds of the national selectors. He's admitted there's a huge amount of competition for fast-bowling spots these days, but McDermott junior is sure to be in the mix when the older pacemen start to move on.
Jon Holland (25-year-old off-spin bowler, Victoria)
He's no household name and his career bowling record (75 Shield wickets at an average of 39 at the time of writing) hardly screams "Test bowler", but Jon Holland has found himself as the next man in line for the Australian spinner role behind current incumbent Nathan Lyon. That's the verdict of chairman of selectors John Inverarity, who admitted Holland out-bowled Lyon in this year's Australia A tour of England.
Holland took 24 Sheffield Shield wickets at 29 last summer, playing on pitches generally more suited to the quick men, and took 6-29 against South Australia in a Ryobi Cup game – with an impressed Inverarity watching on from the stands. If Lyon's sluggish start to the season continues when the Aussies face South Africa, don't be surprised to see Holland come into contention for a baggy green cap, provided his recent shoulder injury suffered in grade cricket isn't too serious.
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of BigPond Sport.