It was now almost 12 months ago that, in the opinion of The Age’s Jesse Hogan, John Hastings “wouldn’t have been [one] of the first 15 bowlers even considered a few months ago”.
This was just after Hastings had received his first one-day international Man of the Match award for his 3/21 against England in Manchester, the deciding match of the series, which Australia won.
On Wednesday night, ‘The Duke’ received his second, for his 6/45 against Sri Lanka in Dambulla, another series deciding fixture.
John Hastings’ meteoric rise in the standings of Australian one day bowlers has seen him go from a player back in 2011 who had done the work, got his chance, tried his hardest, and would likely return to domestic cricket having had the pleasure of representing his country, to one of the county's best.
Four years later in 2015, when Hastings was gifted another chance at international cricket, the then 29-year-old was a far more mature player, had built his knowledge of bowling around the world, and was not about to die wondering.
That he did not, and every time he has been picked for Australia at ODI level since, he has pulled through, giving exemplary performances against India and New Zealand and genuine match winners against the English and Lanka.
Although a career one-day international bowling average of 28.46 is nothing to be sneezed at, it’s his 20.87 average since returning to the international fold that shows the good bowler Duke was and the brilliant one he’s become.
Australian cricket has created a culture of a revolving door for bowlers at one day level, and to separate yourself from the fold can be a tricky job, especially for a cricketer more father along in his career.
This is exactly what John Hastings has managed, cutting through the impressive performances and resumes of strike bowlers such as Nathan Coulter-Nile and Kane Richardson to announce himself as one of the country’s most important seamers.
When naming an ODI team to take on any other country in the world, most would not list Hastings alongside Mitchell Starc as an integral part of the Aussie bowling unit.
Statistically however, John Wayne ‘The Duke’ Hastings’ name should be one of the first picked when it comes to bowling in 50 over cricket.
Hastings’ career narrative could’ve written itself incredibly familiarly to many other part time internationals.
Now it’s almost certain that at the end of his career, The Duke will ride off into the sunset.