Josh Inglis has proven himself to be one of the best up and coming Australian wicketkeepers, his recent scintillating form earning him his maiden call up to the Australian team for the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
While Inglis did not feature in Australia’s recent T20 tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh, Chairman of Selectors George Bailey put his faith in the 26-year-old, selecting him as part of the World Cup squad after scoring two centuries for Leicestershire in the T20 Blast tournament in England which took place over June and July.
Inglis used his experience in the UK as a chance to test his game in new conditions, which he hopes will help him in the United Arab Emirates for the T20 World Cup.
“That was one of the reasons I was really keen to get over there, was just to play in different conditions and test my game in different conditions,” Inglis said.
“As you see, sometimes in the UK with lots of cricket and lots of traffic the wickets do get a bit tired.
“So, playing on some spinning and some slow wickets over there. I think we can really take that into the World Cup, and I’m playing on some of the slower pitches here.”
A feature of Inglis’ game is his ability to play spin, which he has showcased in the Big Bash since joining the Perth Scorchers for BBL|07. His ability to work the field and move his feet should offer the Australian team a different dimension with spin expected to play a big part in this tournament.
“I really enjoyed batting get spinner. I see it as a really good challenge to just be able to score off every ball and try and manipulate the field to where you want to get it,” Inglis said.
“It’s obviously easier on flat wickets so we’ll see what the conditions are like here and it’s obviously going to be a challenge coming up against some of the best spinners in the world.
“I’m thoroughly looking forward to that challenge if it comes”
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However, Inglis will have tough competition to make the squad with Matthew Wade thought to be the preferred keeper option, having played that role in Australia’s recent tours.
With the players and coaches still in quarantine, discussions with head coach Justin Langer about the role he wants Inglis to play in the team are yet to be had. However, Inglis welcomes the opportunity to bat wherever in the order he is needed.
“I’m sure we’ll probably have that conversation in the coming days when we’re at training and stuff, but I think if I do play I’ll be sort of a middle order role,” the 26-year-old said.
“I’ve obviously batted at the top for the Scorchers, but last year I batted at four and in the middle. So, I like to think of myself as pretty adaptable and be able to just bat where the team needs me.”
Even with the possibility of the Western Australian not facing one ball over the tournament with Wade likely to take the gloves and heavy competition for places in the middle order, the opportunity to be part of the team and potentially win the tournament is all Inglis is focused on.
“I think when you come to a tournament, your aim is to win. I think if you’re thinking about personal success your probably in the wrong game,” Inglis said.
“I’ll be more than happy to score zero runs for the tournament and lift it at the end of the tournament, then not.
“I’m sure everyone wants success obviously, but the goal is to lift that trophy.”
While the lack of international experience for Inglis, in comparison to his fellow countrymen, the Western Australia feels that he has plenty of experience from playing around the world.
“There’s probably not too much expectation on me, so I don’t think you can worry about that and the fact that you haven’t got the experience at international level,” Inglis said.
“I’ve played against a lot of international cricketers during the Big Bash and The Blast and The Hundred, so I can definitely lean on those.
“I think once you get into the heat of the battle, I think you just get into it, and you just come back to what’s natural to you.”
Australia’s first match in the World Cup is on October 23 against South Africa. A warm up match against New Zealand is scheduled for October 19.
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