In yesterday's piece on the day's play I inadvertently missed out reference to Wayne Madsen, who is now the club's most dependable batsman.
A first class average of 38 doesn't tell the full story as Madsen had a few early struggles in first class cricket back home in South Africa. 809 runs in 16 innings at an average of 58 in 2009 with 3 centuries and three fifties was followed by 940 at 34 with four centuries and 2 fifties last year. I think he will score heavily this year and looks set to become one of our best batsmen in a long time.
What I like about him is that conversion rate. Generally when he gets past fifty he goes on to three figures, which is a sign of a good player. I also like the fact that he is as adept against spin as pace and I would rate him the best player of spin bowling in the side. Certainly, I have seen few play the reverse sweep, not what Wilfred Rhodes would have called a 'business shot', better than Madsen, tribute to his talents in hockey and to a keen eye.
His record in the Lancashire Leagues was phenomenal but Madsen looks like translating that into senior cricket for years to come. While credit has to be paid to the player, a word too for John Morris, who took a man who had usually batted in the middle order and gave him the responsibility of opening, presumably seeing a technique that could cope with a moving ball.
Yet that ability against spin will probably be why Madsen will bat at four or five in one day matches, giving us the best chance of working runs from containing spin. A sound fielder, Madsen is no mug as a bowler either, but looks unlikely to do much bowling in a side where almost everyone can turn their arm over to decent standard.
Class act, Wayne Madsen. Long may he be the rock of our batting.