18/04/2024

Western Australian wicketkeeper Josh Inglis is right in the frame to make is debut in the Ashes against his country of birth. Image: cricket.com.au

Western Australian wicketkeeper Josh Inglis may have a British "twang" when he speaks but he is an Aussie through and through and hunting for his chance in the Ashes

He might speak with a bit of an accent and have that unmissable British “twang”, but Western Australian wicketkeeper Josh Inglis is Aussie through and through.

The Yorkshire-born 26-year-old grew up watching his heroes on both sides of the Ashes war late at night in the UK as a kid with his dad, as his current coach Justin Langer and his opening partner Matthew Hayden strode to the wicket on the first morning of the Gabba 2001/02 series.

The Western Australian gloveman has risen through the domestic cricket ranks in recent years and is now right in the frame to earn a Test call up to the Australian Test side to fill the vacancy behind the stumps left by Tim Paine in the upcoming Ashes series.

Inglis made his debut for Western Australia in 2015, 5 years after moving to Australia from the UK. He enjoyed a breakout season across all three formats at domestic level last summer, along with a successful stint in the new competition “The Hundred” in England earlier this year with the London Spirit which saw him selected in Australia’s successful T20 World Cup winning squad.

Speaking to reporters from Australia’s quarantine bubble on the Gold Coast, Inglis had no doubts where his or his parents’ allegiances lie, should he get selected for Australia in the coming week.

“They’d obviously be really proud and happy for me if it were to happen,” the uncapped gloveman said of his family’s likely reaction should he get the nod over the more experienced Alex Carey who is also vying for the same spot.

“It’s incredibly exciting.

“There might be a bit of banter thrown over the dinner table, but other than that I’m sure they’d be happy for me.

“As a kid growing up in England, I supported England. Obviously, that’s all changed now (since) moving to Australia.

“A few of the boys were joking around at the World Cup that I was singing the English national anthem, which was definitely not the case.”

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Having been included in the extended Australia A squad two weeks ago, Inglis has been lapping up his experience and time in the national setup. Despite not breaking through for a game in the UAE or had the chance to play much cricket at home prior to leaving, Inglis feels he will be ready to go if called upon next week.

“I found during the World Cup, there were a couple of occasions when I was close to playing just through a couple of niggles with blokes, so the whole time I sort of had the mindset of preparing to play just in case,” he said.

 “That’s the same here.

“Regardless of selection, it’s either the Test match or the Aussie A game so I’ve got cricket coming up that I need to prepare for. That’s my mindset at training now and has been for a long time.

Australian test greats such as Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, and Ricky Ponting have all called for Inglis’ inclusion to keep for Australia next week at the Gabba.

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It would cap off a remarkable rise for Inglis, who was not included earlier in the year when Australia picked 37 different players for overlapping Test and T20I tours in January (19 for the cancelled South Africa Test series, 18 for T20s in New Zealand), and he was not among them. Inglis himself even admits that “It’s quite crazy to think how far I’ve come in such a short space of time”.

The right-hander enjoyed his most successful Sheffield Shield season last year where he averaged 73.12 and scored three centuries in 12 innings.

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Inglis detailed on Monday the key areas on the mental side of the game which had helped him with his mental approach to batting. Singling out WA Batting coach Beau Casson and former WACA sport psychologist Matt Burgin who has since joined the support team at Cricket Australia.

“I just really narrowed down my focus and my routines and that held me in really good stead going into the Shield hub last season,” said Inglis.

“I did a lot of work with our ‘psych’ and our batting coach Beau Casson on that. I really wanted to just to face more balls and really prolong my innings.

“Just by narrowing my focus, I was able to do that and score a few hundreds. That was really pleasing.”

“I just got to the stage before last season where I was playing well, but I was getting a lot of fifties and starts, and not going on.

“That was something that I really wanted to work on in my game. It plays on your mind about 20 or 25 Shield games (into your career) without making a hundred.

“I went to Matt Burgin … and I spoke in-depth about that and it was brilliant. It changed my game and allowed me to build a couple of big innings last year.”

Australia will hope to finalise thier squad and playing XI early this week before an intra-squad tour game at Redlands starting December 1 before the First Ashes test kicks off on Wednesday, December 8th.

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