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Opportunity knocks for safe hands Cox
11:30am Thursday 26th September 2013 in Sport
BEN Cox has been given a huge vote of confidence by Worcestershire as the club see him as the main man to wear the gloves for them.
Former Bromsgrove School pupil Cox has seen off the challenge of Australian gloveman Michael Johnson, who arrived at New Road for this season, but has been released after just one uninspiring season.
However, the County have no plans to sign a new wicketkeeper at this stage and Cox will be given the chance to build on a solid 2013 campaign.
The club have persevered with the 21-year-old after he burst onto the County scene as a 17-year-old.
He was taken out of his A-Level classes at school to play against Somerset and made 61 on his first-class debut.
He has been in and out of the side since then, but County chief and former England wicketkeeper Steve Rhodes believes Cox has made big strides this campaign.
Rhodes said: “As for our future plans, it’s difficult to say, we haven’t even finished the season yet, but Ben has the opportunity.
“One of the best things during the winter and the early part of the season was the arrival of Michael.
“He brought the best out of Coxy. His approach, attitude, his professionalism, has improved a lot.
“Therefore, that was a really good thing, to make him fight for his place.
“As it is now, he has seen off the pressure of Michael, who has moved on.
“But it is important for Ben to have a level of consistency like all professional cricketers have and nail his place in the team.”
Rhodes added: “I think Ben is a good keeper and I certainly think his glove work is excellent. He has got better and better this year.
“He made rapid strides as well from starting quite late as a keeper but he is an athletic person which helps that.
“There are a lot of good things about his wicketkeeping.
“With his batting, he needs to make sure he maintains that consistency which averages between 30 and 35 and maybe a bit more. That is what he is capable of doing.
“Sadly for us this year the wicketkeeping or number seven spot has been averaging around 15 and that’s difficult because it is very pivotal to us in gelling the side together as a batting unit.
“You play with the batters and you play with the tail from number seven.
“It’s a very important position and there is no reason why Ben can’t kick on now.
“We’ve got to look to someone like him to score 100s at number seven and you also want your number eight and nines scoring 100s.”
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