Opener Jake Libby is relishing the chance to bat alongside Worcestershire 2022 overseas signing Azhar Ali. He believes it can only boost his ambition to “keep on improving” after two prolific seasons.
Pakistan Test batsman Ali is available to play LV=Insurance County Championship cricket throughout the summer and is set to partner Libby at the top of the order.
Libby finished as the second-highest scorer in red ball cricket in the country in 2020 and 2021 and made sizeable contributions in the Vitality Blast.
But the 29-year-old has been working throughout this winter on honing those qualities in readiness for a new season and feels he will benefit from having Ali as an opening partner.
Libby said: “Azhar has had a fantastic career, averaging well over 40 in Test cricket for Pakistan over many, many years.
“He has been the bedrock of their batting line-up and, for me to bat alongside him, will be great for me.
“I can only learn from spending time in the middle with such a quality player and seeing how he goes about things.
“It is an excellent signing for the Club, and to have him available for the entire County Championship programme is a massive bonus.”
Libby has already been striving to become an even better player via the winter training programme.
He said: “I know what people say, that the winter can be a bit of a grind, but there are things to be done. I enjoy working on my game and trying to improve.
“You look back at the previous season and what you can learn from that and work on.
“It is exciting, in a way, that you can try and become better and work on things that didn’t go so well last year and try and put that right next year.
“I’ve worked on a couple on a couple of technical things, working on playing against a bit of extra pace and a little bit of my T20 game.
“A lot of it is focused on red ball, and I still believe that is the pinnacle of the game for myself.
“As much as I enjoy T20 nights at New Road and white ball cricket, I think four-day cricket, scoring hundreds and getting wins for Worcestershire in that format is so rewarding.”