Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

Mitchell Expecting Clarke To Make His Mark In T20 Blast

Mitchell Expecting Clarke To Make His Mark In T20 Blast

Worcestershire skipper Daryl Mitchell expects Joe Clarke to get "plenty of opportunities" in NatWest T20 Blast cricket next summer after making his England Lions breakthrough in the short format of the game.

Clarke picked up a quad strain after the Lions opening T20 game against Pakistan 'A' in Dubai which side-lined him for the remainder of the series.

But Mitchell believes Clarke's understandable disappointment at that setback should only be regarded as a "minor blip" in the context of what he believes will be a long and successful career.

The 19-year-old has already made massive strides since breaking into the Worcestershire first team mid-way through last season with centuries against eventual winners Gloucestershire in the Royal London One-Day Cup and Sussex in the County Championship.

Mitchell said: "I'm sure Joe will bounce back from his disappointment. Hopefully he will be fit and go away with the Lions again after Christmas and play in the 50 over games which will be really good for him and his development.

"This is just a minor blip and he will come back strongly.

"He's had a great year. We had heard about this kid Joe Clarke coming through the Academy but to see him in action, he's a real confident lad and he's a real talent.

"Hopefully he can put that talent to good use and kick on from a really good start next year and score mountains of runs in the Championship and white ball stuff as well."

Clarke had never batted at senior level for Worcestershire in T20 cricket before his Lions call-up, his only appearance coming in the weather-hit quarter-final with Hampshire last summer.

But Mitchell is confident he will be able to step up in 2016.

He said: "Joe is an exciting cricketer and very inventive so I'm sure he will get plenty of opportunities in the T20 as well next year.

"He was probably a bit unlucky not to play more for us in T20 but we got off to a pretty good start and had a really solid campaign and stuck with those players.

"He got his chance in the quarter-final with Colin Munro going back home early. We are looking forward to seeing him in action.

"He showed promise in a couple of T20 games for the Seconds. He has got some attacking shots and hits the ball 360 degrees like all kids seem to do now.

"It will be exciting to see him put that into practice for our first team.

"He has no fear and is a huge talent. It is just a case of harnessing that, doing the right things at the right time, and I'm sure he will have a long career ahead of him."