A hulking allrounder who combines right-arm fast-medium bowling with strong lower-order batting, John Hastings became Australia’s 430th Test cricketer when Peter Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus were ruled out of the Perth Test against South Africa in 2012-13. Hastings took the wicket of AB de Villiers in the first innings and made contributions with the bat, but his bowling generally lacked the penetration required to seriously trouble a strong South African line-up.
A consistent Sheffield Shield performer for Victoria, Hastings took 27 wickets at 24.51 in the 2012-13 season and another 27 at 25.00 the following summer. That was enough to interest Durham and Hastings’ workmanlike qualities meant he took to the grind of county cricket successfully, so much so that he won a recall to Australia’s one-day squad against England in 2015 as the selectors combed county cricket to cover for a spate of injuries. He was not just conveniently placed, he was in impressive form, too, an ever-present for Durham in all three competitions until his call up, and allying dangerous lower-order hitting to his solid seam bowling. After a four-year gap, he played in Leeds and Manchester, adding to the 11 caps he had won earlier.
Hastings’ first two names – John Wayne – invited people to call him the Duke and New South Wales watched him ride into the Victorian sunset at the end of 2006-07 as he could not find a way into the Blues line-up. His breakthrough season came in 2009-10 when he was Victoria’s leading wicket-taker in all three competitions and played in the final in all three formats. Not surprisingly, he was named the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year. In addition to his 36 Shield wickets he contributed 446 runs at 37.16, highlighting his value as an all-round option and confirming that Victoria had done the right thing by signing him up.
He made his ODI debut in India in 2010 and his T20 debut in the same season, and was part of Australia’s 2011 World Cup squad, although he did not play a game. A serious shoulder injury sidelined him for the entire 2011-12 season, but he came back well the next summer and was Victoria’s leading Ryobi Cup wicket-taker.
A muscular man at 196 centimetres and 100 kilograms, Hastings is a remarkably canny bowler who relies on outsmarting batsmen rather than genuine pace. Less surprising is the fact that Hastings was a talented rugby player and was a second-rower in the Australian schoolboys team before he gave the game away to focus on cricket. Away from the game, he is qualified as a physical education teacher.
- right-arm, medium-fast
- shirt number
- place of birth
- Penrith, Sydney, Australia
- date of birth
- 6ft 4in
- The Duke
- wccc debut