MICHAEL Klinger has lived out his boyhood dream for the past week after representing Australia in the three-game Twenty20 international series against Sri Lanka.
Klinger made his debut for his country on Friday night at the MCG in a thrilling final ball-loss which saw him make a very handy 38 runs off 32 balls to help Australia reach 6/168.
The second game was a match Australia ultimately should have won at Kardinia Park, Geelong, but an enormous effort from Sri Lanka snatched victory out of Australia’s grasp, again going down at the final ball. Klinger played a significant part in Australia’s 173-run total by making 43 runs off 37 balls.
“It was certainly pretty amazing,” Klinger told The AJN.
“To be at the MCG, where I grew up as a kid going to watch footy every week and watching Australia play growing up, was so special.”
“More importantly, to have so many family and friends at the ground watching the game was awesome.
“It was a great moment, not just for me but for my family as well.”
Klinger was pleased with his two innings, recognising batsmen need to take risks in limited overs cricket.
“It’s a nice way to start but you’re always hard on yourself as a batsman,” the 36-year-old said.
“Both times I’ve tried to push the scoring rate at the back end of the innings and unfortunately it came unstuck.”
The Melbourne-born opener also played a role in the field, catching Sri Lankan opener Niroshan Dickwella off the bowling of Adam Zampas in the first game, while taking another off Adam Tye’s bowling in the second match.
Since moving to Western Australia to play for the state team and the Perth Scorchers under the tutelage of Justin Langer, Klinger said receiving his playing cap from the coach with his family in attendance was something he will cherish forever.
“It was a dream come true having my wife and kids and my close family watching that moment,” he said.
“With Justin Langer presenting me with my cap … it’s been a long ride and to finally get that moment was a dream come true.”
The third match took place after The AJN went to print, but Klinger knew exactly what he wanted to do when going out to represent Australia once again.
“It’s been so enjoyable playing for Australia and I know some people coming over to Adelaide who are going to come watch.
“I’m just going to go out there, have fun, enjoy myself and hopefully finish the series off with a win.”