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WCCC

Rhodes hungry for more centuries with five games to go

23 August 2018

The Bears opener is keen to extend his good form, which has seen him amass 611 runs at an average of 40.73 in his first year at Edgbaston.

Will Rhodes admits that “sometimes it might not be pretty” but is delighted to have three centuries under his belt as an opening batsman this season.

In his first season with Warwickshire, Rhodes has been part of a brand new opening pair with Dom Sibley and has risen to the challenge with 611 runs at an average of 40.73.

I would never have thought in April that I’d have three hundreds with five games to go.

Will Rhodes

Those runs including three tons, most recently a career-best 137 at home to Gloucestershire. In a match in which only one other batsman (Sibley) passed 40, that was a match-winning effort, skilfully constructed against a swinging ball.

It was a triumph of technique, patience and concentration which suggested that Rhodes, who opened the batting only rarely at former club Yorkshire, has all the attributes required of an opener.

“To help the team win is the most important thing,” he said. “And if I can do that by batting a long time, so that other guys around me can play their normal games, then great. Sometimes it might not be pretty but as long as I’m finding a way to get runs that’s the main thing.

“I would never have thought in April that I’d have three hundreds with five games to go. Hopefully I can get a couple more by the end of the season.

“Batting a long time is something I have worked hard on. At Yorkshire I was just a makeshift opener but here it is something I have focused on a lot, in Australia last winter and then back in the marquee at Edgbaston with Ian Westwood in April.

“It’s an important position and one which I am sure Sibs and I want to nail down for the rest of the year and hopefully, if we go up, next year when it would be a very important position in Division One.”

Rhodes and Sibley underpinned the win over Gloucestershire with an opening stand of 161 which by itself surpassed the visitors’ first-innings total of 127.

“We’ve not been the best opening partnership in the league, if we are honest, so it was nice to get a big one,” said Rhodes. “Batting with Sibs is great as we get on really well and a partnership like that gives us the confidence that we can go big.