Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Big-Hitting Whiteley Revels In Having Licence To Thrill In T20 Blast

Big-Hitting Whiteley Revels In Having Licence To Thrill In T20 Blast

Big hitting Worcestershire Rapids all-rounder Ross Whiteley admits he enjoys having the freedom to thrill in NatWest T20 Blast cricket.

Whiteley gave another demonstration of his awesome hitting power with four sixes during Sunday's thrilling televised home clash with Notts Outlaws.

Some of his massive boundary clearances are almost similar to the mocked up sixes demonstrated by skipper Daryl Mitchell in the current Rapids ITV television advert.

Whiteley has cleared the ropes nine times already in four T20 Blast games and it is no wonder Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes believes he is "one of the best hitters you could see in the game."

The former Derbyshire all-rounder said: "I'm not too sure where the hitting power comes from really. We've done a lot of practice, myself and Bumpy on the range hitting at the start of the season.

"It's something I really enjoy doing. It's nice hitting fours and sixes and we've worked really hard on it the last couple of week.

"I've got some good bats at the minute and I guess it's just practice, the more you hit balls, and it seems to be paying off at the moment.

"I guess I'm known as someone who hits the ball over the ropes and that's something I really enjoy doing.

"I didn't get the boys over the line on Sunday but hopefully it will help on other occasions."

Whiteley, who smashed nine sixes in making 84 off 38 balls in the deciding group game with Derbyshire last season, is normally held back until the closing stages of the innings.

He said: "I really enjoy coming in at the end and having that freedom really. I know after doing the range hitting that I can clear the ropes and different parts of the ground.

"That does help and I do enjoy that part of the game.

"I've got the licence to attack. That's why Bumpy holds me back towards the end because I probably play my best cricket with a bit of freedom."

Whiteley had already witnessed similar hitting earlier in the game from Outlaws West Indian star Darren Sammy who collected 24 runs from the final over bowled by Jack Shantry.

He said: "That was some tremendous hitting at the end. Poor Shants has bowled some brilliant overs especially the last couple of weeks.

"To be on the end of that is tough going, but he'll come back better. That's T20. It can happen to anyone."

So who are the big hitters that Whiteley admires? "There are some tremendous hitters in the IPL and obviously Chris Gayle at Somerset has been unbelievable.

"As a left hander myself, he is one I watch quite a lot but nowadays there are so many big hitters. It is such a big part of the game.

"I think the bowlers are glad he is not in our group. If I was a bowler, I wouldn't be calling for the ball if he was in!"

The Rapids will attempt to bounce back from the narrow setback against the Outlaws when they visit Durham Jets tomorrow (Friday) evening (7pm start).

It is a group that is wide open with virtually all the counties still in contention to qualify.

Whiteley said: "It is really close. All we need is to get on a bit of a run, get a bit of momentum.

"We are not going to get our heads down(after losing on Sunday). We're looking forward to the next couple of games.

"We've got a tough one up at Durham but the boys will come back strong. We know we weren't at our best on Sunday and we got pretty close.

"If we do click and come off, as shown at Northampton, we can get to that 200 mark plus."