Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Rhodes: Kervezee “now Looks More Of A Complete Batsman”

Rhodes: Kervezee “now Looks More Of A Complete Batsman”

Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes says Alexei Kervezee "now looks more of a complete batsman than a few years ago."

Kervezee will make his first senior appearance of the season in today's Specsavers County Championship clash with Sussex at New Road.

He was due to play in the opening game of the season against Kent before it was abandoned without a ball being bowled and then Moeen Ali returned to the side for a three game spell.

Kervezee scored a second team century against Sussex at Kidderminster last month.

Rhodes said: "He has started the season well like a lot of our batters have. Moeen came back into the fold so someone had to go out and the other lads had all scored centuries or played well and it meant that Alexei was back to the second team.

"But he got a 100 in the second team and we feel he deserves another crack at things so Alexei will come back into the side. He will probably bat four or five. Clarkey (Joe Clarke) will move to number three."

Kervezee hit 93 against Sussex at Hove last Aprill in addition to takeing three wickets but did not feature in the first team after the home Championship game with Durham in May last season.

Rhodes said: "Look, his career has not carried on the upward direction that he wanted it to be but that happens in life and nothing ever goes smoothly and successfully unless you are a Joe Root type player who has gone straight to the top.

"But with Alexei, he has battled hard and put in the hours in practice in the winter and he has worked hard and recognised that sometimes the game needs a little bit of respect as well and the bowlers need respecting.

"What is happening now is he looks more of a complete batsman than he did a few years ago."

Rhodes has been happy with the form of the batsman so far this season and saw encouraging signs from the bowling unit in the rain-hit draw with Glamorgan at Cardiff.

He said: "We've had a lot of our overs taken away by rain, 47% which is a huge amount when you are trying to win games of cricket.

"But we can't do anything about that. I don't let that get me down too much.

"What I can concentrate on is how we are doing when we do play and I've been very pleased certainly with the batting and the amount of centuries and partnerships we've put together for big scores.

"That is really pleasing. There are some cracking young players at Worcester and they are starting to produce.

"Brett D'Oliveira and Joe Clarke and Tom Kohler-Cadmore and many more and it is nice to see them scoring big runs.

"Generally when teams struggle and they don't get runs out of the top six, they've normally got three or four or five even who are in poor nick.

"But we seem to have got quite a few in good nick and let's just hope that continues all season along.

"With the bowlers, they would agree that at times they've bowled really well and at times they've not bowled so well so it has been a little bit more inconsistent.

"Because of that, teams have managed to get away from us on some pretty good wickets we've played on so far.

"It is an area we are really looking to try and get on top of and at Cardiff we started ever so well, the best we've started with the new ball and we had them 40-4.

"Sadly the rain then came down but it was pleasing to see we were starting to bring things together with the ball as well as the bat."