The 18-year-old Mahli Beardman is set to play in one of the biggest matches of his young career so far where he recalls his first meeting with Australian legend Dennis Lillee.
Mahli Beardman reveals his meeting with Dennis Lillee
The Young bowler Mahli Beardman prepares to take on his first semi-final match against Pakistan in the U-19 World Cup 2024. Beardman who made his debut in the Marsh One-Day Cup has represented Australia in Youth Test against England.
He also picked six wickets in three matches he played in the ongoing U-19 World Cup in South Africa. On this occasion, the teenager has revealed that having a legendary Mentor to guide him at a young age has been one of his biggest advantages.
Beardman has been mentored by Dennis Lillee for almost three years. Dennis had his first encounter with the Beardman when his friend Rod Duggan was impressed by the pacer during a backyard session at Duggan’s home neat Dunsborough.
Duggan was the one who made suggestions to both of them to link up. But Lillee initially refused to take on a new student. “DK (Lillee) had a rule that he wouldn’t work with anyone until they were 16,” told Beardman.
“I had to do a little bit of waiting and a little bit of work but when I was about 15 I convinced him to finally have a look. We went down to the south Perth nets and had a bowl down there and (I) got along really well with him.
“Ever since then, he’s just been a massive mentor for me. He’s such a great man to have in my corner. A lot of it is mental, so DK has been massive for that,” Beardman said.
“There have been a lot of strategies that he’s gone through (with me). A lot of that’s been field placement and psychological settings to try and get in the back of (the batter’s) head.”
Being one of the best pacers in the U-19 World Cup, Beardman is expecting to take on Pakistan with all he has.
However, Australia remains undefeated through the initial stages of the World Cup, but they are set to face one of the toughest teams in the semi-finals.
Beardman has revealed that their side is currently training to play against their next opponents.
“I’ll be keen to run in and just try and use my bumper and attack the stumps as much as possible,” Beardman said.
“As all subcontinental countries we’ve seen (play) so far, they’re a little bit susceptible to the short ball.
“We have quite a fiery attack and I think a little bit of extra height and a bit of extra bounce and pace is going to trouble the Pakistani side.”
“Speaking about it with my dad the other day, we were talking about how incredible it would be to be able to win the World Cup,” Beardman said.
“I think that’s at the forefront of all of our minds, and we’re going to do everything we can to try and bring some silverware home,” he concluded.
Australia and Pakistan are set to play in the 2nd semi-finals of the U-19 World Cup on February 08 at Sahara Park Willowmoore Cricket Stadium.