Thursday, May 23rd, 2024

Waite showing qualities of genuine all-rounder

Worcestershire Head Coach Alan Richardson believes Matthew Waite is showing the qualities of a genuine all-rounder and that there is even more to come from him ahead of Friday’s Vitality County Championship encounter with Nottinghamshire at Visit Worcestershire New Road.

Waite suffered a groin injury towards the end of last season which restricted the amount of bowling he could undertake during the winter months.

But he has been back to his best with the ball during the last three games against Somerset, Kent and Durham and with the bat scored a fine century at Canterbury.

Richardson believes the more Waite plays, the better he will become.

He said: “I consider Matthew to be a genuine all-rounder. The fact he is batting at eight is probably more of a reflection of what’s around him than his own ability.

“He certainly has the capabilities of batting in the top six.

“It was quite frustrating for him at the start of the season out of the fact he had barely bowled during the winter. Pre-season, we got quite a bit in – but not enough.

“He and Joe (Leach) would have been in a similar position in terms of their bowling. Probably where we are now is like their second or third games of the year in terms of rhythm.

“With Matthew, since on loan and as a permanent signing, we’ve seen that he can have a positive impact with bat and ball for us.

“He is starting to play more and more cricket which is what he wanted to do when he joined us.

“It is finding that sweet spot of making sure he gets quite a bit of volume in but also making sure, as with any bowler, that we can keep them on the park as well.

“It feels the more Matthew plays, the higher the ceilings there will be for me I think.

“To watch him go about his stuff, he loves playing cricket, shows a huge care of playing for Worcestershire.

“It feels like there is so much more to come.”

Waite says the work he underwent with Andy Powell, Head Of Sports Science And Medicine, and Zac Bess, Lead Strengthening and Conditioning Coach, during the winter have been a massive help in him regaining fitness.

He said: “They’ve been amazing really. The winter was pretty tough and Bessy made a lot of changes to how I went about things like diet.

“I did a lot of gym work and together they put together a good plan.

“I think they realised that I have a ceiling on how much I can do so they cut back on running, bowling when I need to bowl, but more gym work, more strengthening work.

“I was swimming instead of running, just little things which hopefully have made a difference.”

Waite added: “Best form of my career? “I’m not actually too sure because I felt I wasn’t getting the wickets I wanted or the runs in the first few games.

“I wouldn’t say I’m in the form of my life but it’s always nice to contribute to the team and help the team out.

“I’ve done alright but you always want to get better and improve and contribute more towards the team.”

Waite says Worcestershire can take confidence from their overall performance during the bulk of the opening six games.

He said: “We’ve been on top in a few games. Just not managed to get a result due to the weather or dead pitches.

“We’ve driven most games forward ourselves which is pleasing.”