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Queensland paceman Ben Cutting hopes to overcome bowling woes

Ben Cutting is vowing to spend his new year punishing himself in the nets in a desperate bid to recover from a horror bowling stint.
Nanjing Night Net

The 26-year-old’s fast-bowling prowess, especially in limited-overs matches, earned him a one-day debut for Australia last summer. But his start to the Big Bash League has been poor.

Of the 26 matches Cutting has played in the BBL, initially for Queensland and now for Brisbane Heat, his two most expensive spells have come in recent days.

On Saturday night against Hobart Hurricanes at the Gabba, the tall right-armer finished with 1-39, after Ben Hilfenhaus hit him for 10 runs off the first two balls of his last over to give the Hurricanes a dramatic win, having overhauled the Heat’s 3-209.

On Monday night, against the Melbourne Renegades at Etihad Stadium, the Heat again conceded 210 runs, with Cutting blasted for 0-51 from 3.3 overs.

While Cutting gave Brisbane’s chase some respectability by blasting five sixes in his innings of 40 from 19 balls, he was more disconsolate about his bowling than proud of his batting.

”We’ve given away 420 runs in 40 overs,” he said after the Heat’s 57-run loss. ”We haven’t bowled well. Our plans have been good, it’s just our execution [that has not been].”

Cutting said he felt for fellow seamer Alister McDermott, whose excellent night was ruined when he bowled two high full-tosses in the 19th over that were both whacked for six – and was subsequently taken out of the attack.

”That’s the nature of the beast in Twenty20,” he said. ”Sometimes it’s a bit of a runaway train with the ball … like it was a couple of nights ago at the Gabba as well.”

Since the start of last season, Cutting’s batting has improved dramatically, to the point where he scored a maiden Sheffield Shield century.

Across all three formats during that time he has struck 53 sixes, including 15 in Twenty20. In Brisbane’s three BBL matches this season he has already broken four bats.

The right-hander’s most impressive record is in the Ryobi Cup, in which he is averaging 49.6 and has a strike-rate of 158. In October, he blasted an unbeaten 98 from 48 balls against Victoria at North Sydney.

”I try to think of my batting from a bowling perspective,” Cutting said. ”I think, ‘What would I be bowling to me at this point of the game?’ and relate that to the field they’ve set and hedge my bets on where they’re going to bowl from there.

”I certainly enjoy batting more than bowling at the moment.”

While Cutting and his fellow one-day international debutant from last summer, Kane Richardson, are specialist seamers who bat well enough to go in at No.8, the Queenslander is not ”holding his breath” about earning another call-up to the national side.

”I’d like to think so, but the pecking order’s quite long at the moment,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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