Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Rhodes: Fans Will Want To Come And Watch Oliver The Entertainer

Rhodes: Fans Will Want To Come And Watch Oliver The Entertainer

Steve Rhodes believes Worcestershire have unearthed a crowd pleaser in opener Richard Oliver and he admits he is "nervous but also excited" when watching him bat.

Oliver scored his maiden first class century when making 179 in the LV = County Championship clash with Gloucestershire at New Road on Saturday and Sunday.

It took Oliver's run tally to 504 at an average of 63 in his four Championship matches to date after he replaced Matt Pardoe as skipper Daryl Mitchell's opening partner.

The former Shropshire captain earned his chance in the red ball format after amassing 292 not out in a second team game against Warwickshire at Barnt Green.

Director of Cricket Rhodes said: "For me personally, watching him play I'm very nervous but also excited because he plays some amazing shots and he's got this habit, when he does get runs, of getting his bat to the middle of the ball.

"He scores a high percentage of boundaries and is very exciting to watch and is the type of player that crowds will come and watch because he is so entertaining.

"He also takes chances and that is something that is in the nature of his game but I'm absolutely delighted.

"The longer he bats, the more steady he tends to be.

"He was desperate for a double century against Gloucestershire. He certainly wanted a single century, and he got that, but he was desperate for a double and disappointed in the end."

Rhodes admits he is still learning about Oliver who signed a contract until the end of the 2015 season after impressing in the early matches of the NatWest T20 Blast while on a six week trial.

He said: "To be honest, we are all finding out about him. I don't know too much about him and it would be a total mistake of me to get too involved, too early.

"He has only just come along this year and to his credit it has been easy to pick him in the first team because of the weight of runs he has got in the second team.

"It has been easy to keep him at the top of the order because he has got runs when he has played in the four-day game.

"He averages 60 odd in first team cricket and in your first year and your first go of things….we potentially could have a very exciting player on our hands there.

"He is a sweet timer of the ball. I just think he is exciting. I don't know how far he can go.

"I need a little bit more time to look at him and assess him but I can't fault how he has got on in his first season. He has been absolutely outstanding."