Warwickshire and Birmingham Bears batsman Sam Hain is “relishing the challenge” of playing white-ball cricket after his promotion to open the innings in the short formats.
Last season I didn’t play white-ball partly because of the strong squad we haveSam Hain
Before this season, the 20-year-old had been deployed almost exclusively in championship cricket by the Bears but this year he has gone in first in both NatWestT20Blast and Royal London 50-over Cup.
And he has responded impressively with an unbeaten 92 against Notts Outlaws in the Blast at Trent Bridge and a brilliant unbeaten 105 against Leicestershire Foxes in the RL Cup at Edgbaston.
“I am really enjoying playing the limited-overs stuff this season because you always want to play in all the games,” Hain said.
“Last season I didn’t play white-ball partly because of the strong squad we have and partly due to my shoulder not being 100 per cent. It’s still not quite 100 per cent but is getting there and I am really enjoying playing white-ball cricket and relishing the challenge.
“I have played plenty of limited-overs cricket over the years but am new to opening the batting. I am usually at three or four but with Belly and Trotty in there I am certainly not going to get a spot there. I’m just happy to be in the team.”
Hain’s excellent form right at the start of his career, with a string of centuries in his first championship season, has brought with it high expectations about what he might deliver, both in the immediate term and further in the future.
The only pressure I feel is from myself because I want to score runs for the BearsSam Hain
Those expectations are inevitable, as Ian Bell can testify having dealt with them since his mid-teens, but they are no burden to Hain.
All that concerns him is to keep the runs coming in white-ball cricket and translate that form back into the Specsavers County Championship in which he has had a thin time so far this season.
“The only pressure I feel is from myself because I want to score runs for the Bears,” he said. “It’s all part of the learning process.
“It hasn’t really happened for me in the championship this season, I know that. But there’s a red-ball game at Lancashire around the corner so if I can take a little bit of form into that that would be great.”