Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Keeper Ben Sets Standards Behind The Stumps Even Higher For 2016 Campaign

Keeper Ben Sets Standards Behind The Stumps Even Higher For 2016 Campaign

Worcestershire keeper Ben Cox has set his sights on an even higher success rate behind the stumps during 2016 as he revealed his international aspirations.

Cox held onto 88% of chances that came his way last summer when he was a model of consistency with the gloves – in addition to being the County's second highest scorer in the County Championship.

But he is striving to improve on that impressive ratio of catches taken during the current campaign.

Cox said: "I had an 88% catch rate last year which is extremely high for a keeper. That is extremely pleasing. That is going to be hard to beat.

"But my target I've already set with Bumpy is to try and get into the 90% range.

"If I'm in the 90% category, then things are obviously better than last year and I'm more consistent then than last year. That is the way to develop."

Cox underwent shoulder surgery during the winter and feels he is in a good place as Worcestershire look to finally get their Championship programme underway against Gloucestershire at Bristol on Sunday.

He said: "Is there anything I have worked on during the winter? Not particularly. It has been hard to do so because Bumpy hasn't been here the majority of the time (on England Lions coaching duty)

"But it is sometimes nice to have a break from keeping because the workload is so high during the season.

"It was nice to have a couple of months where it was a 'down' period but as soon as he came back we were into hard keeping sessions and I did some work in Abu Dhabi on the pre-season tour.

"Keeping for me now, technically I'm sound. It is just getting back into the rhythm of getting back up to the stumps. I'm clicking now so it is going well at the right time."

Cox knows the battle to break into the England set-up is challenging and knows the batting side of his game will be a key element in realising those ambitions.

He said:"Is the Lions a target just like it was with Ross Whiteley and Joe Clarke? Of course, yes. I think as a wicket-keeper now it is tough to get in because you've got Jos Buttler who is unbelievable. Jonny Bairstow got in as a batter and now he is keeping so the route there is hard.

"All I can do is try and score hundreds for Worcestershire in tough situations and hopefully get noticed that way.

"My keeping is sound, I think they (England) know that. It is just being more consistent with the bat."