WELL, Hicky's touch as captain continues to bed sure and if, between him and Tom, they can secure the signing of Glenn McGrath, then he might have made his most significant contribution as captain yet.

The arguments over the best type of overseas player rage on. When Graeme himself was considered overseas, he was perhaps the best match-winner around and a batsman.

Yet he would be the first to admit that his runs would have meant nothing were it not for the bowling attack spearheaded by Dilley, Radford, Botham and Newport.

It comes down to balance and, though the batting has looked less than impressive this year, the potential is there. That potential would be released I feel by the presence of a quality fast bowler.

That might sound strange, but few would argue with the notion that batting is about confidence and what a boost it is to know that every run you score is going to count because you have a bloke that is going to knock the opposition over.

This, as against a situation where you battle away to make a score which the opposition proceed to rattle up in half the time.

McGrath would also make a good partner for "Sherry"; one tall, mean, right-handed, hitting the deck hard; the other, left arm, swinging, bowling a full, attacking length. And for how long have we cried out for someone tall to bang the ball into the pitch hard and exploit its variable bounce?

It might not be the quickest pitch in the world at New Road, but I don't think there would be too many which would suit McGrath more. The biggest question might be who will bat 11!

Some reckon last weekend, as well as being a pretty good one for Australia, was a great one for Worcestershire, on and off the field. Let's hope that this particular signing comes to fruition, unlike some over which there has been much speculation in the past.

Worcester's one-day form continues to depend greatly on the abilities of its slower bowlers. Richard Illingworth has long been a master of taking the pace off the ball. His last over against Gloucestershire was a wonderful match-winning cameo. However, we should not neglect the work done by the opening batsmen who have contended with the vagaries of the white ball which we have all witnessed during the World Cup and have invariably given the innings a lively start.

Strange, how often form follows a competition. Reuben Spiring and Paul Pollard have found runs hard to come by in the four-day game yet have contributed regularly and effectively over the shorter distance.

It has been hard for Paul Pollard to come to terms with the Worcester pitches, where the slowness and variable bounce mean that you can never feel that you are really "in," but the value of his signing is being felt in the one day games.

The NatWest win over Devon continued the good run and has earned a home draw with Surrey that brings back memories of a few stirring encounters and is one for Tom Moody to look forward to when he returns from his deserved celebrations in Australia.

After a poor start, Worcestershire's season is starting to catch fire.

Monday, June 28, 1999.