NSW Blues all-rounder Moises Henriques Matt King 2013 Getty Images
NSW Blues star Moises Henriques has revealed his intentions for the remainder of the Australia A tour, believing the opportunity to play tough cricket will place him in good stead for his return to the NSW setup.
Playing his first red-ball cricket since his match defining century as a part of the NSW Sheffield Shield championship victory, Henriques was pleased to be back testing himself against quality opposition.
“It was good to get back into Four Day cricket. The body’s a little sore, but I’m sure it will be better for the run.
“It was good to finish with NSW winning the Shield last time I played with the red ball. It’s good to be back playing traditional cricket and the tough stuff really.”
Selected in the squads for both the Four Day matches against India A and South Africa A, as well as the side for the One Day tri-series featuring the same teams, Henriques believes the tour will provide a good yard stick for his personal performances.
“I try and learn from every single game I play, I try to get better with every game that I play, or even every training session. The Aus A tour is just more experience really if nothing else,” said Henriques.
“It’s more tough cricket and it’s a good yard stick as well just to see how you’re going, that when you’re faced with difficult conditions whether it’s with the bat or ball, you can find a way to deal with them. The more times you get placed in those conditions the better equipped you are to dealing with those and succeeding next time around.”
Plenty of difficult situations faced both the Australia A and India A squads during the first tour match held at Allan Border Field. Both sides struggled for consistency in their top orders, before scoring heavily in bottom order partnerships.
Remarkably both number sevens, India A’s Naman Ojha and Australia’s Mitchell Marsh, scored double centuries during the first innings. Wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman also recorded his maiden First Class century with a fighting 174 to help pull the Australian innings from 6-99 to 7-470 alongside Marsh.
While Henriques was disappointed to miss out on the runs, his economical bowling was a highlight for the Australian’s in a match otherwise dominated by the bat. He finished with the match figures of 2/41 from 26 overs, easily the best economy rate of his sides bowling attack.
“On a wicket which didn’t really offer much assistance I knew that I just had to keep building pressure and plugging away trying to build pressure on the batter and try to draw a mistake, and also trying to limit their scoring options as well.”
Henriques only has limited time to reflect on the match, with the sides set to clash in the next four-day encounter on the same pitch this Sunday. Alongside him could be NSW and Test spinner Nathan Lyon, who has been drafted into the squad for what could be his first competitive match since his tutelage under Sri Lankan Muttiah Muralitharan.
Henriques feels that Lyon could bring a lot on a deck that lacked much life for the bowlers.
“Nathan is a terrific bowler and he has gotten to where he is now because he is able to adapt to any conditions.
“To have him come back and play for our side is going to be a terrific boost, and it will be fantastic to have him around. I’m sure he will find a way to do what he does best, and hopefully he can get a few of those middle order break throughs that we need.”
While the temptation to uncover the strengths and weaknesses of his current teammates, who will turn opponents come the Matador BBQ One Day Cup and Sheffield Shield season, was there, Henriques believes the ‘A’ tour is more about helping each other achieve their goal of higher honours.
“You don’t get to play for Australia A without playing well at a First Class level and all the players here have done that. We’ve had good analysis previously before this tour so it’s not really what we’re trying to get out of here.
“While we’re away at camp, we’re all just trying to help each other become better crickets, with the hope one day of playing for Australia together.”
You can stream all of the action from the Second Australia A Tour match from Allan Border Field in Brisbane on the Cricket Australia website.