As the sons of a Test opening batsman and Victorian cricket great it’s inevitable Zac and Sam Elliott will be compared to their father, Matthew.
But as easily as Matthew used to plunder bowling attacks, his eldest sons shrug off any suggestion of added pressure as they follow in his footsteps in their state under-age debuts this summer.
“I’ve never really worried about it my whole life actually, I just go out there and do the best I can,” said Zac, who will play for the Victorian 15-and-under side at the state championships in Perth in February.
A classical, left-handed opening batsman for Strathfieldsaye in the Bendigo District Cricket Association, Zac admits to similarities with his father, however.
“I’ve actually watched video of myself and then I’ve watched video of dad straight next to it, he said himself I look exactly like him,” he said.
Matthew was one of the most stylish batsmen of his era when he wore the baggy green in 21 Tests from 1996 to 2004 and was named the Australian domestic Player of the Year three times.
Zac, who also “rolls down” a few part-time leg-spinners, is building an impressive career and has a top score of 51 for Strathfieldsaye’s under-17s this season.
He also opens the batting in the second XI and has played first XI Twenty20s for the Jets after crossing from Bendigo this year.
His younger brother Sam still plays at Bendigo and has been selected in the Victorian 12-and-under squad to play at the week-long carnival in the Barossa Valley from this weekend.
“I got to the last 24 last year and didn’t make it,” said Sam, who also played for the Big V in football earlier this year.
But this year the right-hand middle order batsman dominated in practice matches, averaging 80.5 in four innings with a top score of 64 not out to make sure he couldn’t be left out of the final team.
“(Dad) said ‘well done, it’s not over yet, you’ve still got to keep working hard’,” Sam said.
“That’s what the coaches said to all of us, too.”
The 12-year-old right-arm medium pacer has also been in sparkling form in the BDCA where he opens the bowling in the under-17s and also plays in second XI in the afternoon.
“My highest score this year is probably in B-grade when I made 72,” he said.
The next generation of promising Elliott family cricketers doesn’t end with Zac and Sam either, with their brother William also impressing for Strathdale-Maristians’ under-9s.