Ed Pollock says he has learnt a lot from a challenging summer and will revert to playing more of his natural game in 2024.
The opener will be looking to play the kind of innings which illuminated his debut year with Worcestershire.
Pollock scored two superb centuries in the County Championship, against Leicestershire at the Uptonsteel County Ground and Middlesex at Merchant Taylor’s School.
The century against Middlesex, on a difficult pitch to secure victory against the odds, was one of the highlights of the 2022 season for Worcestershire supporters.
There were other fine knocks including 77 against Sussex at New Road, 54 versus Glamorgan at Cardiff and 98 in the return meeting with Sussex.
But Pollock admits that last summer he struggled to make an impact after looking to tighten up his defence and trying to become more consistent, but in the process losing some of his attacking prowess.
He said: “I had a good chat with Richo (Head Coach Alan Richardson) at the end of the season. It was realising I kind of went away from what works for me, whether it was my mindset or the innings I was looking to play.
“There were a few changes I made to try and make myself more consistent but didn’t necessarily help.
“That was the leanest season I’ve had in the eight seasons I’ve played professionally, but you learn more from those kind of seasons than the ones where you do really well.
“It’s a matter of learn, move forward, and the hope is to come back stronger next year.
“I had that good year in the Championship, two hundreds averaging early 30s. I took that and I was just trying to tighten up my defence a bit and made a few changes, but not realising it took away a few of the shots that made me so dangerous.
“Me at my best is like scoring the hundreds last year, when there was a lot of intent behind it.
“I am better trying to be me, playing the kind of innings I can play rather than be something else. There will be a lot more Ed Pollock style innings next season.”
There were still some important contributions from Pollock last summer including his defiant half century to help save the home Championship game with Derbyshire and seeing the Rapids over the line in a low-scoring Vitality Blast game with Notts Outlaws.
He said: “There are still some positives to take. I think I showed a different side to my game that I hadn’t done before, batting in the middle order.
“The knock against Derbyshire, I had taken a blow on the fingers so I couldn’t really hold the bat with my top hand and it took away the attacking shots.
“But also I was there for 190 balls and it felt like ‘I can do this’ and I felt very comfortable out there. It was nice to show that innings is there if I need it.
“The hope is I can come back next year with that knowledge that I can bat in the middle order in T20 or up the top, and the same in red ball depending on the situation, so it’s not by any means writing off the season with nothing good to come from it.
“Also, whilst disappointing personally, it’s been nice to be part of a successful squad with two quarter-finals and promotion in the Championship.”
Pollock is spending the winter playing first grade cricket in New South Wales for St. George CC.
He said: “I’ve been to Perth twice before but not been across to Sydney and I’m there through to March.
“Nothing replicates match practice, being able to play games.
“Cricket is about scoring runs and taking wickets and you can just get into those good habits of trying to win matches for your side, stuff you can’t really replicate indoors.
“The standard depends on availability really. You can get your Test stars coming out in grade cricket, which really doesn’t happen in club cricket over here.
“You get the odd county player in club cricket over here but over there, when the Australia players and State players are available, they will play.
“it is always the hope that you come back with lots of runs or wickets under your belt. It can set you really up for the season if you get a few runs over the winter.”
⛔️ 𝙔𝙤𝙪 𝙨𝙝𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙥𝙖𝙨𝙨 ⛔️
— Worcestershire CCC (@WorcsCCC) November 29, 2023