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Mitchell is backing Kervezee to star next season
9:30am Wednesday 5th September 2012 in Sport
WORCESTERSHIRE captain Daryl Mitchell has backed batsman Alexei Kervezee to continue his first team renaissance and recapture his impressive form of previous seasons.
After bursting onto the scene with a series of hard-hitting innings, which included 1,190 runs in the 2010 campaign, the Dutchman struggled for form last term and lost his place in the first XI earlier this year.
While a broken finger hampered his efforts to win a recall, he still spent four months in the second XI waiting for another chance.
Kervezee’s recent run of scores for the seconds, combined with the departing Vikram Solanki ’s struggles with the bat, led to director of cricket Steve Rhodes reinstating the 22-year-old into the first team.
That move could have been seen as a major gamble, but Kervezee ensured Rhodes had made the right decision by scoring over 100 runs over the two innings against Middlesex. Although that wasn’t enough to save the County from defeat, it proved the talented youngster is returning to his best.
Skipper Mitchell was impressed with those two mature visits to the crease and is confident his middle-order star can be a real force for Worcestershire next term.
The skipper said: “We all know Alexei’s talent – he’s a fantastic player who had a pretty rough start to the campaign and then broke a finger so was out for a few weeks.
“I think the break away from cricket maybe did him a little bit of good and, when he came back, he was in fine form for the seconds with a couple of 70s and a hundred in three innings, so deserved his recall to the side.
“I thought he carried on his good form and struck the ball beautifully in both innings. “He’s come back from injury raring to go and has worked extremely hard as he always does.”
Looking back at the six-wicket defeat to Middlesex in LV= County Championship Division One, Mitchell was happy to have found some form himself with a first innings ton, but disappointed to reflect on yet another defeat.
He added: “Personally, it was nice to get a few runs in the first innings – all the hard work paid off after I’d been scrapping around for a couple of 40s.
“However, we did not get a good enough foundation with the bat in our second innings to really push on after lunch with some quick runs.
“We were always going to have to give them a target that would keep them in the game and they would go for, so we would have the chance to pick up the wickets we needed, but we were probably a few short. “Closer to 250 and possibly a few more overs to bowl them out would have been ideal.
“It was a reasonable effort by the bowlers, but a couple of dropped catches didn’t help our cause. “We also jumped over a few in the field, where we were pretty average by our normally high standards.”