Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Dolly Gives Sharp The Credit For His Conversion Into Opening Role

Dolly Gives Sharp The Credit For His Conversion Into Opening Role

Brett D'Oliveira says Worcestershire second team-batting coach Kevin Sharp spotted the potential in him to become an opening batsman two seasons ago.

Sharp gave D'Oliveira an opportunity in the role towards the end of the 2014 campaign and he responded with a century – 102 from 154 balls with 18 fours – in a three-day friendly with Hampshire Seconds at New Road.

He retained the position last summer and eventually earned promotion up the order into the senior side from Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes for the final four County Championship games of last season in place of Richard Oliver.

After a series of promising scores in the 30s and 40s, D'Oliveira last week became the third generation of his family after grandfather Basil and father Damian to score a County Championship hundred in the home clash with Essex.

He then followed that up with his first double century against Glamorgan – 202 not out – at the Swalec Stadium yesterday.

D'Oliveira said: "Opening is something I didn't think I would be doing a couple of years ago. It is actually Kevin Sharp that got me involved in opening.

"I think he saw the potential and he came up to me in a second team game and asked if I'd like to open and I said yes.

"Fingers crossed I've never looked back.

"Opening has its ups and downs but I am enjoying it. It is an opportunity and the team is backing me and Mitch (skipper Daryl Mitchell) and Bumpy (Steve Rhodes) are backing me.

"It's great to have that backing so I've just got to keep it up really."

D'Oliveira added: "Have I changed my technique? Not drastically. I've just got to be a bit more patient really.

"It's more about the mental side of things, not my technique but thinking about things a bit more.

"I think in the longer format if you take time out of the game and bat for long periods, you will score runs so it's just about staying at the crease."