Head Coach Alan Richardson has praised the instant impact made by Worcestershire’s new opening combination of Jake Libby and Gareth Roderick who will face his former county, Gloucestershire, in the LV=Insurance County Championship match at Cheltenham College beginning on Wednesday.
Libby is enjoying a prolific season and is approaching 800 first class runs after his superb knock of 69 in difficult batting conditions during the 100-run win over Leicestershire at Oakham School last week.
But Roderick, who has signed a new contract until the end of the 2025 season, has also made a big impression since stepping up to open alongside Libby for the past four matches.
Richardson, said: “It’s very early days in their partnership but they are performing like the two skilled experienced batters that they are.
“It’s nice to have a partnership that has started well and that should give them great confidence.
“There are a couple of hard jobs at the moment in English cricket and one of them is opening the batting.
“It’s when the ball moves around the most and when the bowlers are at their freshest.
“It’s a really skilful job and one that needs a lot of application and a strong mindset in terms of that success and failure ratio that goes with it.
“But also an understanding from them about the team and also a appreciation from the team about how they go about it because it is an incredibly tough job, especially in England.
“Jake has shown over a long period of time that he can do it and does it very well.
“Gareth has played enough cricket and has batted for number three a lot which is pretty much like opening because you are up and ready to go and switched on from ball one.”
Roderick will be looking to continue the fine form he has shown during his career at Cheltenham where he has scored one hundred and seven half centuries in a total of 726 runs at an average of 42.70.
Richardson is looking for Worcestershire to produce a repeat of their performance at Oakham against Gloucestershire.
He said: “We want to go into the last three games with a real chance of getting promotion.
“It was our aim at the start of the season so to be in that position and we’ve put ourselves in the mix to be able to do that.
“We need to play some good cricket this week, play with the same intensity, the same skill level, the same attitude and give ourselves a chance.
“One of the values we have is consistency so we try not to get too far ahead of ourselves but the boys throughout the season have been quite rightly confident about their skills.
“They are pretty level, they know how the game goes, Cheltenham is a great place to go and play so the boys are really looking forward to it.”
Worcestershire have announced the same 14 strong squad as originally selected for the trip to Oakham as they bid for a fourth Championship win of the season.
Gareth Roderick (W)
Brett D’oliveira (C)