Allrounder Moises Henriques hopes to use the upcoming T20 series against India to prove his critics wrong and show he’s up to international standard.
One of the best performers in Australian domestic cricket for almost a decade, Henriques has fallen short in his brief stints at international level.
Having posted scores of 68 and 81no on Test debut four-and-a-half years ago, the 30-year-old has made just one half-century from 16 innings since then in all formats.
But he insists he can make the grade and aims to prove it, starting with the first T20 in Ranchi on Saturday.
“I definitely think I’m good enough to play at this level,” he said.
“A lot of the opportunities I’ve had with Australia in the past have been in different roles to what I play now for my domestic team. And also they were when I was a lot younger than in the past two years as well.
“I feel like my game has come a long way in the past two or three years and I probably haven’t got as many opportunities to play for Australia in that time.
“But I’m looking forward to this opportunity coming up now.”
Certainly, the allrounder’s batting numbers at domestic level show why he’s often been in the minds of selectors. In the past three seasons, he’s averaged 47.50 in Sheffield Shield cricket, 63.00 in the one-day cup and 36.58 at a strike rate of 130 in the BBL and has also enjoyed success in the Indian Premier League and English county cricket.
But his most recent stints in the Test and ODI teams, however short, have been inauspicious; he failed to post double figures in four innings on the 2016 tour of Sri Lanka and he was dumped following Australia’s failed Champions Trophy campaign in June, after which his career batting average was just 9.62 from 11 matches, the lowest of any Australian top-seven batsmen in ODI history to have played at least 10 games.
An unbeaten 56 in a T20 against Sri Lanka in February showed what he’s capable of and another strong IPL for the Sunrisers Hyderabad earned him a spot for this T20 series, joining Tim Paine, Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye and Dan Christian as additions from the recent ODI series.
And on the back of a 1-4 ODI loss to the top-ranked Indian side, Henriques hopes an injection of fresh players and a change of format will spark a change in fortunes for his side.
“A lot of the guys have been on the road since the start of (the) Bangladesh (tour) but we’ve been lucky enough to be back home,” he said.
“We’re fresh and we’re ready to go. Hopefully we can bring a bit of excitement … and hopefully rev the some of the guys up here.
“I can’t quite put my finger on where they faulted in the ODIs
“All those guys that have IPL experience will be pretty keen (to do well). With Steve Smith and David Warner leading the charge in IPL experience, hopefully they can lead the way over the next three games.”
Australia’s Qantas Tour of India
Australia squad: Steve Smith (c), David Warner, Jason Behrendorff, Dan Christian, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Moises Henriques, Glenn Maxwell, Tim Paine, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.
India squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Axar Patel.
October 7: JSCA International Stadium, Ranchi
October 10: Barsapara Stadium, Guwahati
October 13: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad