Sam Hain is looking forward to his chance to impress England’s selectors when he plays in the inaugural North v South 50-over series in the UAE.
But while the 21-year-old is excited by the prospect of playing in the three- match series from March 17 to 21, he is not putting himself under too much pressure.
The games, which will be watched by England head coach Trevor Bayliss and national selector James Whitaker, are clearly an opportunity for all involved to shine. But Hain, now England-qualified, reckons the series, in which his Bears team-mate Josh Poysden will also feature, will also be “great fun.”
“The one-day campaign went quite well for me last year and to have a little bit of recognition is always nice,” he said.
“The North v South series is a chance to impress but whether that’s the mindset to go in with I don’t know. It’s a chance to play cricket in another country, which is always exciting, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s great that Josh will be there too so there’ll be another Bear out there. The North Squad is a good group of lads so it should be great fun.
I’ve had a good five-week period at Edgbaston working with Tony Frost. He’s been brilliant and I’ve been in the indoor centre figuring out a few technical points in my game.Sam Hain
“But there’s a lot more hard work to do before then. Usually I’ve been abroad until this point in this winter but this year, for the first time, I’ve had a good five-week period at Edgbaston working with Tony Frost. He’s been brilliant and I’ve been in the indoor centre figuring out a few technical points in my game.
“I’m the sort of person who wants things to happen overnight but cricket’s not like that. There were just a few things I needed to work on at the back end of last year and I am seeing a little bit of improvement. Hopefully that can lead into the one-day series in Dubai and then hopefully the Bears’ season. I think my game is in pretty good order.”
The 2017 season brims with promise for Hain. And his objective is very much to recapture the red-ball productivity which deserted him for much of last season while his limited-overs form soared.
“My red-ball cricket suffered a little bit,” he said. “The reason for that, I’m not too sure, but I have talked to a few of the senior guys and they say some years it’s like that with one format going well and not another, so it’s just a matter of trying to say level.
“It is a bit of a battle. When I started out when no-one knew who I was but, as time passes, bowlers study you and do their homework on how they might get you out, so it’s just a matter of trying to stay one step ahead. Even though I started my career well I am still finding plenty of points in my game where I need to improve. Your game has to keep evolving. But I’m still only 21 so hopefully have a lot of time ahead. I have got myself out of a lull before and the experience did me a whole lot of good.
I want to be a person who can play all three formats. I think last season at times I tried to take my white-ball focus and that freedom into red-ball cricket and it didn’t work.Sam Hain
“I’ve got high expectations and want to score runs every time I go out to bat but there are so many factors – you can get a bad decision or a good ball or play a bad shot.
“I want to be a person who can play all three formats. I think last season at times I tried to take my white-ball focus and that freedom into red-ball cricket and it didn’t work. After about ten balls I’d go for a cover-drove that a couple of years ago I’d just have left, so it’s just a question of finding the right balance.”
Hain is determined to have a strong 2017 in all formats for the Bears. But first comes that chance to impress in the North v South series. And national selector Whitaker had made it clear what is at stake.
“For all the players selected, the series is a platform to make an impression,” he said. “As Andrew Strauss said when he introduced the series, we see it as an important addition to our selection process in 50-over cricket, ahead of the two major global events we are staging over the next three summers – the ICC Champions Trophy this year, and the World Cup in 2019.”
Become a 2017 WCCC Member before the price increase
You can take advantage of all of the above benefits through a Warwickshire membership. If you have any questions or would like to purchase your membership, then please call our Membership Service department on 0844 635 1902 (option 2) or click below to buy online. We look forward to your support this season.