Mumbai: Australia's Holly Ferling, who impressed all and sundry with her pace and bounce, Monday said not having a prior reputation helped her perform better in the ICC Women's World Cup, which her team won for a record sixth time. "I guess the pressure is not on you, when the expectations are not there. No one knows who you are, which was a bit of an asset to come in with no one seeing me bowl before or knowing my stock ball.
"I think that was an advantage but to take nine wickets, I just couldn't believe it and Megan Schutt, the highest wicket-taker with 15 in her first World Cup at age 20, it is incredible, and we both are still pinching ourselves at the moment," Ferling told PTI here. Ferling, who made her debut in this World Cup, grabbed nine wickets in four matches at an average of 10.55 with her best being three for 27 against the West Indies.
The Queenslander said she was working on her action to consistently hit the 120 kmph mark. "I do love my bouncer. I think, the key for me at the moment is increase my consistency. I have had a couple of wides and stuff like that but that is going to come with the refinement of my action, which we have been working on this season and has improved. Also with that comes added pace.
Fingers crossed, I can be bowling 120 kmph consistently over the next few years. "We have changed a couple of things with my action over the last few months, which has increased my speed by 5-10 kmph. To see that difference in such short time is really promising," she said. Ferling explained that her front-arm was quite low, which didn't allow her to bowl at a quicker pace but is working hard to rectify it.
"My front-arm was really low, so that then meant I was bowling a few extras in this tournament but I was bowling a lot more. Everything was in alignment. I have got my front-arm a lot higher now and it's quite ironic that I have had messages from my Dad saying the commentators are saying you have got a high action now," she said.
"We were laughing because a month ago I didn't. That has just come through a lot of hard work and repetition trying to break the habit. Just getting my front-arm higher, which then means I can pull down harder and bowl quicker," she added. Asked if she would work on the slower bouncer, Ferling said, "The men use the slower bouncer a lot particularly in T20s. I think in some time it definitely could work but the thing is men bowl at 140 kmph and the slower bouncer is 120, which is what we bowl. I think, just be able to bowl pace and hit the deck, will be the key for me."
She further said the wickets over here were a pleasant surprise as she thought they would be turning tracks. "I didn't actually expect the wickets to be the way they were. I was thinking that I might have to pitch it really short and put in a lot of effort. The wickets were actually quite surprising (in terms of bounce).
"In MIG particularly, the toss was very important. The wicket would really turn and started to crumble in the second innings. To experience such pitches is different. Back in Australia it is just fast hard decks. It's definitely an experience you learn to adapt yourself to," she said. Having been the one-change bowler in the tournament, Ferling said her aim would be to show her skills with the new ball.
"I would love to be given the opportunity to take the new ball, as does any bowler. That is ideally the goal everyone wants. I think it will come in time being a new player, I was happy to get just one over." The World Cup victory hasn't sunk in for Ferling and she said it would always remain an unforgettable experience. "It's unbelievable to experience something as phenomenal as this at 17, it's an incredible feeling and something that I will always remember," she said.