Tuesday, June 7th, 2022


Ed Barnard has praised how young Worcestershire spinner, Josh Baker, has adapted to his first taste of Vitality Blast cricket in the same way he coped with breaking into the LV=Insurance County Championship side last summer.

Barnard says the trust in Baker, who was only 19 last month, is highlighted by the way he is given overs to bowl at the latter end of an innings when the demand to score runs is at its highest.

The slow left armer was handed the 15th and 17th overs by Rapids Blast skipper Moeen Ali during yesterday’s meeting with Leicestershire Foxes at New Road.

It followed on from his 2-26 in the high-scoring win over Birmingham Bears when he dismissed Adam Hose and Chris Benjamin.

Baker has started EVERY single game in the Championship, Royal London Cup and Vitality Blast since breaking into the side nearly a year ago, only a few weeks after finishing school.

Barnard, voted man of the match by sponsors counterculture against the Foxes, said: “Josh is doing brilliantly again. Like we said at the end of last season with the red ball stuff, he is learning on his feet.

“He probably hasn’t played much T20 cricket, but it shows with the overs he is getting at the back end of the innings that everyone trusts how good he is and knows how good a bowler he is.

“Josh is constantly learning, and I thought he bowled really well again on Sunday. T20 cricket is chalk and cheese to red-ball cricket, but I can’t recommend him highly enough.

“He has got a really mature head on his shoulders, and nothing seems to faze him.

“Josh learns, he talks well about the game, asks the right questions, and is really interested and has been a great addition to the group over the last year.”

Barnard picked up two wickets for 17 runs and top-scored with 27 on Sunday before he was last out trying to pull off a victory for the Rapids.

He said: “Happy with my personal contribution? Yes, the bowling was obviously pleasing. I had a really good plan, and I was actually happy with how I bowled on Friday as well. It is coming out nicely at the minute.

“It was also good to get a few more with the bat. It was a shame I couldn’t get us a few more to win the game.

“I haven’t got in much this year, so it was nice to have a bit more time, but it would have been more pleasing in different circumstances.”