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Hughes keen to contribute with the ball

Thursday 5th April 2018
& News
Written by Danny Painter

Alex Hughes emerged as a leading player for Derbyshire last year but he is ready to be a part of the supporting cast with the ball to help the Club challenge this season.

The 26-year-old was awarded his County Cap on the back of some impressive and mature batting displays and now he wants to improve his contribution with the ball.

With the arrivals of Duanne Olivier and Ravi Rampaul adding to Hardus Viljoen and the young Will Davis, Derbyshire have a potent new ball attack, but Hughes and Luis Reece will have an important role as back-up seamers.

With that in mind, Hughes decided to swap the Australian sunshine for an English winter in Derby to hone his skills with the ball.

He said: “I did the winter last year in Australia and found that really beneficial in terms of getting in match practice, working on skills and getting my head right.

“This year it was about refining technique and working on my bowling a bit more so if the captain needs me to fulfil a role in any way I can step up.

“When I first came into the team a few years ago I was being used as a fourth bowler because that was the team we had so I bowled more and when you bowl more you usually get more wickets.

“Last year I didn’t really get as much of a chance for whatever reason but I like to be seen as a bowler and someone who can do a job with the ball so it was time to start working hard on it again.

“This winter I’ve been working on what kind of bowler I’m going to be. Over the years my role may have changed a bit so it’s about getting a clear role for myself and what I want to do with the ball, bowling more overs and trying to get as consistent as possible.

“I always look at people like Darren Stevens who towards the end of his career is bowling more and maybe learning his craft a bit more and I want to go down that route. If I can learn my game more and more over the next few years it will help me contribute with the ball.

“We’ve got quite a small group of bowlers but we’ve been doing a lot of sessions together and trying to learn as much as we can off each other.”

Hughes enjoyed his best-ever season in 2017 when he was Derbyshire’s top run-scorer in first-class cricket but has not set any targets for the next six months.

He added: “I never really have many personal goals, it’s about contributing to the team and being worth my place. If I have a brilliant season then great, if I don’t that’s cricket because it’s a very fickle sport at times so I’m not going to put too much pressure on myself.

“You never know what’s going to happen but team accolades are much more important than personal ones.”

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