ICL: Indian Cricket League

I want to play both forms of cricket, says Phil Jaques


philAustralia’s batting axeman Phil Jaques believes his unorthodox technique can be just as successful at One-day International level and has implored selectors not to pigeonhole him as an opener.

Enjoying new fame and fortune in his fabulous rebirth as a Test opener, Jaques is eyeing off his next big challenge of regaining his One-day International cap as Australia plot a course towards the 2011 World Cup.

While the one-day opening role would seem the most appealing — with Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden likely to pull up stumps in the next 18 months — Jaques insists he can also be a weapon in the middle order.

“I want to play both forms of cricket. I have played a little bit of one-day international cricket (six ODIs) but haven’t really had an extended opportunity,” Jaques said. “I think I can bat anywhere.

“I’ve played in the middle order both here and in England in one-day cricket and I’ve spoken to selectors about it and hopefully they don’t pigeonhole me as just an opener. “I feel like I can do a job in the middle order or wherever they want me to play. It’s a matter of me knocking on the door hard enough like I did to get into the Test side,” he added.

The former oil refinery labourer with the unusually high bat grip, which makes him strong square of the wicket, has been a wanted man since bludgeoning successive Test centuries against Sri Lanka earlier this season.

Sponsors and media have had him in their sights but he has been confined to a lounge chair in his Sydney home in recent weeks due to a debilitating bout of the mumps.Set to return to the playing field today for NSW in a Ford Ranger Cup match against Queensland at the Gabba, Jaques insists the illness has not robbed him of his strength.

But watching endless daytime television pushed him past the brink of boredom and he can’t wait to take his frustrations out in the middle and fine-tune his preparations for the Boxing Day Test against India at the MCG.

“It was a pretty boring couple of weeks sitting on the lounge and I watched any TV that I could get my hands on,” Jaques said. “My face and neck swelled up massively, it was pretty obvious I had the mumps.

“It was just a matter of biding my time and being patient and trying to keep my strength up. I lost a little bit of weight but I kept my strength up. I feel really good in myself, it hasn’t knocked me around too much,” he added.

In spite of needing 10,491 first-class runs to secure a baggy green, Jaques has no regrets about turning down an overture to play for England. Jaques has British parents and dual nationality, which could have seen him play for England, but he has always dreamt of playing for Australia. The hard-working batsman from the NSW South Coast is now reaping the ultimate rewards.

Source:Cricket News

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