Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Ben Taking Strides Forward But Determined To Continue Improving

Ben Taking Strides Forward But Determined To Continue Improving

Ben Cox believes he has taken steps forward as a batsman and wicket-keeper and is determined to continue striving to improve.

Cox hit a career best 89 to help the county recover from a tricky position in their second innings and defeat Kent by 125 runs in last week's LV County Championship match at New Road.

It followed on from his previous best score of 65 in the penultimate home match of last season against Hampshire.

Cox then pulled off a superb catch to dismiss Brendan Nash during the Kent second innings when standing up behind the stumps to Jack Shantry.

He said: "I have definitely improved with the gloves. It is just confidence. Now I'm standing up to Gazza (Gareth Andrew) and I'm used to the guys now.

"It has taken a while but, the work I've put in this winter, I'm just pleased with the results.

"I'm hitting the ball a lot cleaner as a batter now and the gloving has actually come on a lot.

"Also to get a good score early on gives you confidence. But I just want to keep improving.

"It is only the second game. I didn't feel great down at Hampshire. I was confident in the first innings against Kent and I just dragged on and it was a little bit gutting to get out that way.

"I had a game plan to go out and be aggressive. Moeen (Ali) had a word with me and said 'are you a defensive player or an aggressive player' and I am always going to swing to the aggressive side. That is what I stuck to."

Cox believes the positive post-lunch approach of Ross Whiteley and himself helped to instigate a "momentum switch" on the third day after lunch against Kent.

Worcestershire had lost half their side for 113 but aggressive batting from Cox and Whiteley in the afternoon launched a major revival.

Cox said: "It was actually good fun towards the end. It was very tricky to start off with because it was slow and low.

"I was looking to play as straight as possible and then towards the end it was trying to bat with the tail and manufacture the strike, just score when we can and get as big a lead as possible.

"We weren't in a great position at lunch. Myself and Rosco (Ross Whiteley) had a game plan to come out and play shots and be positive where we could.

"I think that mind frame and plan did work against some pretty good bowling.

"There was definitely a momentum switch soon after lunch as soon as Ross hit Tredwell for a couple of sixes.

"You could just feel that we were starting to get on top of them."

Cox was aided in another half century partnership by Shantry as the last five wickets added 157 runs.

He said: "Shants is definitely an all-rounder these days and I actually enjoy batting with him.

"He reminds you to keep your head down and sets you targets and helps keep you pretty grounded."