Thursday, December 24th, 2015

County All-Rounder Rhodes Working Hard On Bowling Skills Down Under

County All-Rounder Rhodes Working Hard On Bowling Skills Down Under

George Rhodes has been one of the success stories of the Worcestershire CCC players in Australia this winter with North Canberra Gungahlin.

He has emerged as their leading wicket-taker during the first half of the campaign and made some useful contributions with the bat.

Here George, in a conversation with the Worcestershire CCC website, looks back over the past three months in the first part of a two part feature.


QUESTION: You must be really happy with your form this winter, especially with the ball being the leading wicket-taker?

GEORGE RHODES: "Its nice to be the leading wicket taker going into the Christmas break. My bowling is probably my second string to my bow at the moment and I have been working hard to progress it so far.

"One of my main goals was to bowl a high volume of overs this winter (on and off the field). This was encouraged by the coaches as Worcester in our end of season meetings.

"Hopefully I can continue my form after the Christmas break and contribute to a successful second half of the season for Northies."

QUESTION: What is the standard of cricket like and how does it compare with Second Eleven cricket?

GEORGE RHODES: "Playing out here proposes different sorts of challenges compared to county cricket. Firstly the wickets can be very hit and miss, similar to club cricket in England, usually slow and hard to time the ball.

"It's great because you have to find ways to score and play in theses sort of conditions, which is different to Second XI or county wickets as usually there is a little more pace on the ball.

"The standard can also be very mixed. For example, some sides have players playing for the Canberra Comets (2nd XI standard) including a few ex-first class players. However, conversely the following week you could end up playing an average standard of cricket. "

QUESTION: How different is it getting used to having only one knock or one bowl maybe every couple of weeks rather than every couple of days and does that make you value your time at the middle even more?

GEORGE RHODES: "Having a hit in the middle less regularly really makes you work towards each knock.

"I feel that it gives me a real focus when preparing for the upcoming game, with plenty of time to practice your skills in the week.

"Hopefully I can get a couple of big scores when we start up again after Christmas."

QUESTION: Joe Leach played for the same club last season and made a great impression. Did you speak to him before going about North Canberra and do they speak highly of his time there last winter?

GEORGE RHODES: "Once it was mentioned to Leachy that I wanted to go and play a season abroad, he straight away recommended the Northies. He spoke very highly of the club culture and the experience he had gained from playing in Canberra.

"Barny (Ed Barnard) and Leachy both came back after a winter in Canberra and had great seasons for Worcester. Therefore it didn’t take much thinking for me to agree to come out and play for the Northies.

"I've loved the first half of the season out here, the boys are hard working and I hope we can prove that we have what it takes to make finals in the two-day competition and upset some of the big teams. "

QUESTION: Are any of the Worcestershire players in Australia meeting up during the three week break?

GEORGE RHODES: "I'm spending the Christmas-New Year break with my English flatmates Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Tom Fell.

"We are spending Christmas in Sydney at Pepsis (Kohler-Cadmore) and then are heading up the East Coast to the Gold Coast for New Year.

"I'm not too sure who’s going to be cooking Christmas dinner! (Fingers crossed it's not Felly!)"

*We will feature part two of our chat with George Rhodes on the Worcestershire CCC website during the next few days.