The skill set required of a cricketer today is a far cry from yesteryear. Gone are the days, where a player was prized for a specific expertise whether that be a fast bowler, a batsman or keeping wicket. 

Today, the expectation of players is to excel in all aspects of the game.

As a professional cricketer in 2020, I have had first hand experience of the profound pressure to excel as a complete player. In preparation for my next season, I aspire to shift my focus on strengthening my techniques as a right-arm leg break bowler. 

I know this will be challenging, but it is a task that not only excites me but I am willing to invest in, in order to contribute to the success of the New South Wales team.

The laws of the game have revolutionised where success is not promised by thriving in one dominant skill set; cricket is now more than just batters being batters and bowlers being bowlers.

To thrive as a modern day cricketer and to maintain a successful career, one must invest the time to practice multiple skills in order to participate in other positions on the field. All-rounders hold immense value on the cricket field and for me, it is very exciting to see other players explore various skills and to also challenge myself to become more all rounded.

To become an all-rounder is definitely a long haul that requires patience and time, but my excitement to see how I will evolve as a player definitely overlooks all of that. 

I have always been known as a spinner on the field, but now that I am currently in off-season I have taken this opportunity to practice and refine my techniques as a bowler. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to bowl in underage cricket, but I have not really bowled as much as domestic pre-up.

One of the best things that happened for me after joining the Sydney Thunder was the chance to forge a closer relationship with Shane Watson. Watson is known to be a top batsman as well as displaying great bowling techniques. 

Through conversations based on his experiences, I was able to grasp how he managed to master those two skill sets – hard work. I also realised from this, the importance of a player having a diverse skill set and the opportunities that follow them. 

A clearer image formed in my mind that if batting does not get a player to the forefront then bowling can be another thing to be considered for, and that is when I began to seriously think about enhancing my bowling techniques.

Looking back at my last season, I can honestly say that it was my best year. As I was completing my end of season review, one of the questions they had asked me was how I thought my season went.

As I reflected upon that question, I knew there were gains I could take away from my season. However, and any athlete will be able to tell you this – you are never truly satisfied, and are always searching for new ways to come back better than you were the previous season.

For me, there were a lot of positives to take away, but equally a number of things I could reflect upon.

Playing just 1 of the possible 11 shield games for NSW was definitely the wake up call I needed, to be reminded how any player’s position in the team can change.

At this level, you always have to be on top of your game.

I feel like my batting is developing, and as it continues to do so my confidence is growing as well, but I’m waking up each day striving to be a better batsman than I was yesterday. While, at the same time, I also feel like I am ready to add to my game now as well, hence the desire to work on my bowling.

There is no doubt that excelling in multiple positions is a tough art to tackle and a lengthy process to achieve, but my love for the sport and my determination to become the best player I can be are the two driving forces that keep me motivated and excited for what’s to come. 

This is a challenge in which many cricketers, including myself, have to face head on. It is not easy to be known for one thing and dominate in it to then becoming an all round player just like that, a lot of pressure and practice comes along with it. The first step for me is definitely focusing on perfecting the technical parts and the volume of my batting. 

I am very lucky that I have good resources that will help me achieve this and the time to start working on it. I am in for the long process but in saying that, I am really excited to start this new step in my career and grateful to see where this new skill will take me.