Monday, July 6th, 2015

Oliver Hoping To Build On Successful Week In Lv = Cc And T20 Blast

Oliver Hoping To Build On Successful Week In Lv = Cc And T20 Blast

Richard Oliver is hoping to build on a successful week for himself with the bat after the Worcestershire opener believed he was not "pulling my weight" in terms of weight of runs during the earlier part of the campaign.

Oliver scored a century in the second LV = County Championship match with Sussex at Hove but then experienced a lean spell before scoring 99 in the match last week with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

He followed that up yesterday with a splendid 70 not out for the Rapids in the five wicket win over Durham Jets in the NatWest T20 Blast at New Road.

Oliver has been working on improving any weaknesses in his game – after recognising that teams will have studied his style of play – in what is only his second season of professional cricket.

He said: "I didn't feel like I was pulling my weight so far this season in all forms.

"It's nice to get a couple of 50s in a week and hopefully build a bit of momentum to some decent form now in the middle of the summer when the weather is going to be at its best and hopefully the wickets will be at their best and then hopefully I'll be able to perform.

"The longer the poor spells go on, the worse you feel. You start worrying about your place and letting people down and letting yourself down. It gets on top of you a little bit after a while and the sooner you can get out of that trot, the better.

"I'm only two knocks into it so I wouldn't say I've come completely out the other end of it yet. There is still a lot of work to do and hopefully because the schedule comes thick and fast, you play enough cricket to hopefully come out of it sooner rather than later."

So what brought about the upturn in fortunes at Trent Bridge? Oliver said: "I've been working on a few weaknessess over the last few weeks and you probably shy away from your strengths a little bit when you are trying to work on a few different things.

"I feel like I've overcome a few of those weaknesses and started to think again about my strengths. I've started to play a more complete game again.

"But that's the cricket we are playing. People figure you out, they've got all the footage and they are going to exploit your weaknesses so you've got to come out the other end of that and hopefully find a way to score some runs on a consistent basis.

"People study you. They have got every facility to watch any particular player. They had the footage to do it but hopefully the work is hopefully going to make me a better player in the future."

Oliver added: "I'm just being a bit smarter really in the areas I'm trying to hit the ball. I don't have to have a boundary option for every ball bowled. "I'm going to score more being out there rather than in the pavilion so take the safer option, getting down the other end a bit more often, has been an approach I've taken a bit more recently.

"I suppose it depends on how you are when you get out of bed some mornings. Some mornings you just want to whack everything and other days you've just got to play the patience game.

"There is no complete formula to batting in cricket. If there was, everyone would be doing it. But the best players, probably perform every one in three or five innings they play and the good players probably one in nine or ten.

"But it's not about comparing yourself to anyone else. It's trying to be the best you can be and that's all we try and do really. That's all I can do and I feel I'm in a good place to do that."

*We will be further featuring Richard on the Worcs CCC website during the next few days.