Monday, July 14th, 2014

Rhodes Impressed With Oliver After County Strike Back On Second Day

Rhodes Impressed With Oliver After County Strike Back On Second Day

Steve Rhodes admits he has been impressed by the way Richard Oliver has settled into the opening role in LV = County Championship cricket after another useful contribution for Worcestershire on the second day against Leicestershire at New Road.

Oliver has replaced Matt Pardoe alongside skipper Daryl Mitchell and followed up his 65 on his debut against Glamorgan with 78 and now an unbeaten 33 against the Foxes.

It enabled Worcestershire to end the day on 48-2 – an overall lead of 89 – after dismissing Leicestershire for 280 despite Rhodes believing the bowling attack did not fire on all cylinders.

Director Of Cricket Rhodes said: "It's moving on, this game at a reasonable pace but the wicket is a good wicket. That's what is really confusing.

"If we can get a reasonable score in the third innings, we'll be in a really strong position.

"But our bowlers, our seamers in particular, they all know potentially we could have bowled a lot better than that and so far up to now, bowling at Worcester, they have done that.

"They possibly had a slight off day and bounced back well. Saeed kept us together bowling from that one end but we've come back and wrapped it up and Joe Leach did well to come back and Charlie Morris bowled quite a nice spell.

"But I think they are a little bit disappointed they didn't bowl a bit better."

Both sides collapsed after being given good starts to their first innings and Rhodes admitted: "It's strange. Maybe that new ball comes on a little bit better and then it starts to stick in the wicket a bit and becomes more awkward for batting.

"Certainly tonight we've lost two wickets which is disappointing but I thought Richard Oliver looked fantastic again and he said the ball came on nicely.

"Hopefuly he can go on and get a reasonable score with Alexei Kervezee tomorrow.

"Richard plays with freedom but he is no slogger. He has certainly got lovely shots and he carresses the ball through the covers and through that gulley area but he is strong off his legs as well.

"If you don't bowl a good line and length, potentially he hits it for four.

"There is a bit about teams not knowing him but we are finding out as well how he plays.

"All I can say is I'm very impressed because he's got starts now in three of the four innings he's played.

"He's looked good and hopefully he will go on and get a big score tomorrow."