Wayne Madsen is targeting a big season in four-day cricket after a successful 2017 saw him shine in the one-day formats, but with mixed success in first-class cricket.
The 34-year-old emerged in 2017 as a T20 master-blaster, scoring 526 runs with four half-centuries to finish top of the PCA MVP ratings for the competition.
It was a Derbyshire record in the game’s shortest form and was the reward for the practice he put in on improvising and expanding his range of shots.
But Madsen’s form in four-day cricket was less impressive with 667 runs in the Specsavers County Championship and one century in the final match at Bristol.
For a player who has scored more than 10,000 first-class runs and hit 26 centuries, it was a lean summer in what was a busy year for the Durban-born right-hander.
He said: “I don’t want to make any excuses but it was a pretty full-on year with having a testimonial, doing my level four coaching course as well as concentrating on playing and mentally some of the stuff can take it out of you at times.
“The concentration mentally in four day cricket is longer so whether that had something to do with it, possibly it did, but I’m not looking for excuses, just ways to get better as a player all the time.
“Certainly from that perspective I’ve put in a bit more work on the concentration element around four day cricket.
“Last season wasn’t as good as I would have liked in four day cricket. I got a few starts but I never really got going until the back end of the summer. I didn’t feel out of nick necessarily but I found different ways of getting myself out so I’ve put in some hard work over the winter to correct that and I’m looking forward to having a more successful season in four day cricket.
“But at the same time I’ve got to perform across three formats so I have to get that balance right. For me it was making sure that on and around off stump I’m playing the ball well and that was one of the biggest things for me working through the winter.”
Derbyshire launch their season with a home game starting on Friday 20 April against Middlesex, who began with victory over Northamptonshire last week. Relegated from Division One last summer, Madsen is aware of the talent in the Middlesex squad, but believes Derbyshire are ready for the test.
He added: “It’s a tough start but the perfect one for us because it’s a great challenge up front and we will be able to see where we are. A big focus for us is result games, we are looking to be positive and that’s the most important message we are spreading across the team in both batting and bowling.
“If we can keep our team fit I feel we will perform well. Anything can happen if you get off to a good start in the Championship, momentum is a big thing and plays a big part. At the moment we have a fit squad and if we can have that for the majority of the season I think we could be right up there and challenging.”
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