Saturday, July 8th, 2023


Worcestershire Assistant Coach Richard Jones was encouraged by the performances of Josh Baker in the Seconds 10 wicket Championship win over Northamptonshire and believes the left arm spinner is getting back to his best.

Baker settled into a good rhythm and line and length in Northamptonshire’s second innings and finished with figures of 35.4-14-67-3.

It was his lengthiest bowl in any cricket since he suffered a lower back injury two thirds of the way through last summer after playing in the opening 10 LV=Insurance County Championship matches.

Baker returned to the senior side in the recent drawn game with Derbyshire although the wet weather during the early part of the campaign meant he did not have the overs he wanted under his belt going into the game.

But he impressed Jones over the past four days at Geddington CC as he played a full role in the Seconds securing a third Championship win on the trot.

Jones said: “It is definitely something that he needed. Rodders (Gareth Roderick) as captain managed him really, really well.

“He was clear with his messaging to Josh in terms of what he wanted.

“We had a session on the third evening where we wanted to be as dry with the runs as we could and in control of the scoreboard and Josh played a big part in that.

“He has gone on a bit of a journey. He had a real steep rise last year in terms of first team cricket and exposure and how well he has done.

“Josh had that big setback with his injury, and he hasn’t had enough overs under his belt to really stake a claim but, the way he bowled this week, it started to feel and look like he was getting back to his best.

“He bowled very accurately, provided real control for Rodders, allowed the seamers to rotate the other end and he looked good.

“I had a good chat with him and he feels himself like he is getting back to operating at his best which is good, and more confident.”

Baker is still only 20 and Jones says the ups and downs a young cricketer experiences will ultimately stand them in good stead.

He said: “In the grand scheme of things, these little moments of challenges, when you are trying to work things out, and come through the other end, are  important, and play a big part in your journey.

“Hopefully he has turned a bit of a corner and is in a good spot mentally. Pleased for him, 36 overs, nearly 50 per cent maidens, and excellent to watch.”