Saturday, June 11th, 2016

George Puts Greater Accent On Bowling To Help Achieve First Team Ambitions

George Puts Greater Accent On Bowling To Help Achieve First Team Ambitions

George Rhodes says he has been putting greater emphasis on his bowling skills during the past 12 months to help him realise his ambition of playing first team cricket for Worcestershire.

Rhodes, who opens the batting for Worcestershire Seconds, finally made the breakthrough on Tuesday when he returned 2-34 with his off spin for the Rapids in the Royal London One-Day Cup triumph over Yorkshire Vikings at Headingley.

He was also part of the Rapids side which last night achieved a thrilling three wicket win over Northamptonshire Steelbacks to move top of the North Group in the NatWest T20 Blast.

Rhodes admits a winter playing grade cricket for North Canberra Gungahlin was of immense benefit to his bowling skills.

Second Eleven skipper Rhodes said: "You've seen the batting line-up we've got at Worcester. It is very strong and containing exciting young players.

"My bowling just gave me another string to my bow, another way to force my way into the first team to be honest.

"I just started to bowl more. It was a way to get into the first team and it was something I took a little bit more seriously.

"Obviously I want to keep my batting strong and keep improving my batting and hopefully be that genuine all-rounder down the line for the first team.

"But it was just a short term way of trying to get into the first team, to really work on my bowling."

Rhodes added:"All the young players here can bat and bowl. It is just the way the modern game is.

"Lads have not only to bat and bowl but also field very well and I think that is something we pride ourselves on at Worcester.

"We've got a lot of very good all-rounders, exciting young players that can do all three skills."

Rhodes followed vice-captain Joe Leach in enjoying a successful season with North Canberra.

He topped the batting averages but also finished as the Northies second highest wicket-taker for 205-2016 with 26 from 12 one-day and two-day games.

Rhodes said: "The wickets were very dry and quite cracked. It meant I actually bowled a lot of overs which was helpful to improve my bowling over the winter.

"North Canberra is a great place, and there were some great guys there, and they were very welcoming and it was a good move to go there."

*Read a full interview with George Rhodes on the Worcestershire CCC website during the next few days.