Australians continue to score big runs and take big wickets in county cricket. Michael Neser and Marnus Labuschagne had to have ten days off, as they were required to isolate as they were close contacts to a COVID case.
Travis Head finally made a score of substance, and Dan Worrall continues to rock his mullet and take bulk wickets. Off the back of some fantastic T20 form, Josh Inglis also debuted for Leicestershire in red-ball cricket.
The Australian cricketing public’s focus is now moving towards the West Indies, with the T20 series starting today. However, it shouldn’t leave the equally exciting county cricket behind. The Hundred gets underway in only two weeks time.
The Inner Sanctum takes you through all the action from the Australians playing in the UK.
Travis Head (Sussex) – 108 runs, five T20 matches, one first class
Head went to county cricket to regain his spot in the Australian side.
Based on his form so far through the Australian winter, he is probably further away from selection than he would have been if he had not played at all. While his scores have been slightly improved this week, they are still well down on where a world-class player should be.
His biggest highlight this week was a solid 47 from 74 in his return to the County Championship.
Head’s Sussex contract came about primarily due to his relationship with Jason Gillespie while he was the Sussex coach. Now that Gillespie is gone, there will be questions over whether Sussex will give Head another contract. On the T20 front, Head hit a good 26 from only 17 balls in his highest score in T20 cricket this season.
Dan Worrall (Gloucestershire) – Seven wickets, three T20 matches, one first class
Dan Worrall is a player who consistently flies under the radar.
He plays for the most underrated state in Australia, and now plays for one of the smaller counties in Gloucestershire. While he has struggled over this period in T20 cricket, his ability to swing the red duke’s ball in English conditions is remarkable. Worrall also holds an Irish passport, allowing him to play international cricket for the Irish if he so desires.
Over Worrall’s three T20 games in the period, he failed to take a single wicket. In his first match against Sussex, he bowled three overs for 26. His second match went much better, four overs for 29. His third match against Hampshire was his worst by far, bowling four overs for 43.
It was the first-class match where Worrall dominated after taking only two wickets in the first innings. Worrall took five in the second in a beautiful display of swing bowling, taking the wickets of four of the top six batsmen.
D’Arcy Short (Hampshire) – 32 runs, three T20 matches
Short is one of the most entertaining batsmen in the world to watch when he is on song.
Unfortunately, this week in county cricket has not been his week. In the future, Short will have his eyes on a T20 World Cup spot and, looking much closer, will also have a Hundred contract to fulfill. The upside to Short is very high; unfortunately, when he does not come off the bottom level is also quite low.
In Hampshire’s first game in this period, Short only managed 17, with the bat this coming off 15 balls. He struck three boundaries in this innings but failed to go on with an innings of substance.
Thankfully Short did well with the ball, bowling four overs, taking one wicket and going for only 28 runs. It was similar for Short in the second match, where he only managed 13 from 13 balls in another mediocre performance.
Peter Handscomb (Middlesex) – 35 runs, one first-class match
Handscomb’s average season continued for Middlesex after a month break while the T20 Blast was on.
Being the captain of a prestigious county playing out of Lords can be a big challenge, and it is something that Handscomb has not looked up to yet. However, he is a classy player and will no doubt find a way to dominate going forward.
In the first innings against Gloucestershire, Handscombs made 21 from 41 balls. Unfortunately, he was the start of the collapse for Middlesex. After Handscomb was out, Middlesex lost 5-13 to be rolled for 101.
His second innings was an innings that was looking for the draw, making just 14 from 95 balls. Unfortunately for Middlesex, it was not enough as the side lost to Gloucestershire on the final day.
More Cricket News
Cameron Bancroft (Durham) – 109 runs, four T20 matches, one first-class
It has been a week of highs and lows for Bancroft in county cricket, who is captaining Durham in the T20 Blast.
Bancroft was an odd choice for captain for a side that has so many options, including the first-class captain Scott Borthwick in the side. However, it is probably best to have him fully invested in the Durham cause given Bancroft’s history.
The first game of the week was Bancroft’s best and his highlight of the week.
He smashed 60 from 45 balls in an innings that got Durham to a winning score. From there, it was a more difficult week in the white ball game. He made five and zero respectively in games that the side both lost.
In the first-class game, it was a wet draw. However, Bancroft managed a good innings, striking 34 from 102 balls in Durham’s only batting innings.
Josh Inglis (Leicestershire) – 103 runs, four T20 matches, one first class
It has been a massive month for Inglis, who has asserted himself as one of Australia’s best up and comers.
Inglis has even managed to earn himself a Hundred contract, largely the beneficiary of other Australians pulling out of the competition. He made his debut in first-class cricket for Leicestershire, lining up alongside Marcus Harris.
In a rain-affected first match, Inglis scored 35 in 17 balls to get Leicestershire the win on DLS. The rest of his week was not as fun to watch, with scores of 21, 12 and 18 in the white ball games.
His first-class match came in a high scoring draw, although Inglis did not have a huge impact. He managed to score 27 from 76 balls before being trapped LBW. Inglis is an immense talent, and we will no doubt see him in an Aussie cap soon.
Marcus Harris (Leicestershire) – 21 runs, one first-class match
After a massive season so far with the bat, Harris’ return after a month break was a much quieter affair.
Before this round, Harris was in the top 10 run-scorers for the season, and while he is still up there, he could not manage to move his way up that table. He scored 21 from 39 in Leicestershire’s high scoring draw.
With many more games still to come, it will be interesting to see if Harris can keep up the form that was so good to watch before the break.
Ben Dwarshuis (Worcestershire) – Six wickets, four T20 matches
Dwarshuis had a difficult start to the year but has seemed to now find his straps with the ball.
He is yet another one of Australia’s never-ending line of quality fast bowlers. While white-ball cricket is his speciality, he is undoubtedly being watched by Australian selectors as a quick left armer.
In his first match over this period, Dwarshuis took two wickets against Josh Ingilis’ Leicestershire side. He took the wickets of Hill and Kimber, who were providing a middle-order fightback.
Against Derbyshire, he was much more expensive, only taking one wicket and going at 8.5 per over across his four overs. In his final match of the week, he took another two wickets to fully assert himself as one of the better T20 blast bowlers.
Tim David (Surrey) – 20 runs, one T20 match
David has stormed onto the T20 circuit over the last year. In a world dominated by opening batsman, he is specialising in the middle order finishing role.
After a solid Big Bash season, David was picked up in the Pakistan Super League and is now playing for Surrey in the T20 Blast. Many are speculating that he will also pick up an IPL contract.
Against Kent, David got off to a solid start, hitting 20 off 20 before going out to Darren Stevens. David has a very bright future, and Australia could do much worse than picking him for the World Cup.
Subscribe to our newsletter!