I am stoked that the selectors gave him confidence by saying he would get a good stint at first drop. It was great that he made the most of a full home summer to find his feet and plunder some runs.
In saying that, I have taken his run-fest with a grain of salt. The wickets produced wouldn’t cause any dramas for most while playing against a Kiwi team not up to their best and a Windies team that is village by standard. The best test for him would have been under lights in Adelaide, but he missed that one with a hamstring strain.
His 140 in his first test away from home was important. And, it’s a good thing that he gets the chance away from home again (in this series) to get back into test mode before returning for the home summer.
The biggest thing I think he needs out of this series is good fielding performances. He is no danger of being dropped before the first home test and has been criticized in the past for being a bit lazy in the field. While there have only been a couple of examples of misfields or dropped catches since he came back into the team full time, the problem is that there have been a couple of examples. If you are already under the microscope for anything, the last thing you need is to be fuelling the fire. I hope he takes a few screaming catches and can put a bit of a stop to it early. Otherwise, he will have to average 60 to keep his place in the team. I’m a big fan of catches win matches.
Prediction: I think he will nudge his average up over 50 this tour.
Statistics sourced from ESPNCricinfo.
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