HE'S Queanbeyan's big-hitting batsmen turned Adelaide Strikers export, and Jono Dean has worked his way back from a side strain to make his Big Bash debut against the Perth Scorchers last night.
The injury had but the brakes on Dean's season over the last fortnight, however he was fit and ready for last night's clash and notched a handy 29 runs off 15 balls before an unfortunate run-out created when partner Phil Hughes slipped over at the non-strikers end.
But in the lead-up to another hard-hitting Big Bash encounter for the Stikers, Dean told The Queanbeyan Age he was just pleased to be in the mix.
"I've managed to squeeze my way back into the line-up after a couple of weeks on the sidelines with a little injury, but I'm really enjoying it," he said.
"My approach is always pretty simple- play my natural game and go hard."
And he said he wasn't daunted by a bowling line-up which included top tweakers Brad Hogg and Ashton Agar, as well as dangerous strike bowler Yasir Arafat.
"I'll try not to be phased by the occasion, but that's why we practice these things over and over, so we can repeat them under pressure on the big stage," he said.
Despite having to fight for his place in the Strikers' best side, the local export has now proven he can cut it against the best. And he said he's relished the coaching and professional environment of the club.
"I've been loving it," he said. "Being involved in the professional system is a bit of an eye-opener, but I could definitely get used to it.
"They're quite a professional outfit and well-structured and well-coached, and all the guys have welcomed me in with open arms. It's just been a really positive experience."
The Strikers narrowly lost the match against the Perth Strikers last night, falling five runs short of the 203-run total.