So, when I saw him named in the Ashes squad, I thought that it would more likely be him than Matthew Wade that would go the entire series without playing. I still hadn't bought into the James Faulkner phenomenon that had earned him over 100 first-class wickets at a shade over 20. He might be a good domestic bowler, but my viewings of him had far from convinced me that he was anything more.
I am now, officially, convinced.
If you want to learn about James Faulkner the bowler, look at James Faulkner the batsman.
Not only does James Faulkner back himself to hit pretty much any bowler anywhere, but he has never so much as heard of a lost cause. 15 runs per over needed? He'll score that, and the same again. Six to win from four balls? Better do it in one, just to be sure. When James Faulkner transfers this attitude to his bowling, which at first appears to be a quick-medium whirl of arms and legs, he suddenly becomes a real force to be reckoned with.
Faulkner the batsman is an able hitter of a cricket ball, who backs himself to play beyond his expected means, and who regularly meets his own high standards. Faulkner the bowler is able to hit the blockhole, from over or around the wicket, with the back-of-the-hand slower ball that is hard to pick, but harder to bowl. Of course, the honeymoon period must surely wear off at some point, but even then - don't underestimate James Faulkner.