Today, in the first of a new series, Sports Shots talks with Stephen Croft, as we focus on players returning from overseas roles down under.
Croft spent the winter playing in Sydney, Australia and returns to be part of the Bucks squad for their Unicorns 2019 campaign.
My winter personally on the field went fairly well, taking over 30 wickets in all forms of cricket, including playing some games of 1st grade in Sydney.Playing 1st grade, it was a good challenge for me and showed me the level I need to be at every week if I am going to take my game to the next level.
In terms of how the side did which I played in, our performances were a little frustrating, often struggling to score enough runs to give our bowlers a chance.
I felt I learnt a lot of stuff on and off the field, my batting I felt improved during my stay especially my technique, which I had been working on. My bowling had been just a matter of trying to be as consistent as possibleThe conditions are tough for English cricketers with the pace and bounce, whether you’re a bowler or batter, so you had to slightly bring your lengths back as a spinner and not get too frustrated by lack of turn, but really concentrate on hitting a consistent line and length.
I am hoping playing with a white ball in a few games in Australia, as well as playing a lot of one day games in second grade, will have given me greater experience in this format and hopefully lead to me making the one day side this year for Buckinghamshire. I’m hoping my limited-overs format bowling has improved and hopefully will show at the start of the year.