Moises Henriques has barely put a foot wrong in 2017 and Friday’s first KFC T20 International against Sri Lanka gives the Sydney Sixers captain a chance for a little redemption after a forgettable period in 2016 as well.
Henriques toured Sri Lanka with Australia’s Test, ODI and T20 squad last August-September, playing five matches across the three formats and returning scores of 4, 4, 6, 4, 1, for a sum total of 19 runs at 3.80.
The allrounder, who hammered a career-best 265 for the Blues in the Sheffield Shield just last week, said he left the tour painfully aware that changes needed to be made.
“After how I went in Sri Lanka, I knew I had to keep improving and getting better – taking wickets, scoring runs and trying to win games for NSW,” Henriques reflected.
“It would be nice (to get some revenge), especially for me personally; I had a pretty bad time of it over there, didn’t score too many runs.
“So it’d be nice to cash in in Australia, in our own conditions, and hopefully put in a better performance.”
Despite Henriques’ own modest contributions, Australia bounced back from the 3-0 Test humbling to win the ODI series 4-1 and the T20I series 2-0.
George Bailey and Glenn Maxwell starred with the bat in those series, and with the Test players already in India, the national T20 team is missing a host of first-choice options, meaning the likes of 30-year-old Henriques will be required to step up and take on greater responsibility.
The right-hander found form at the back-end of the KFC Big Bash, making a brilliant 64 to lead the Sixers to a tie in the semi-final against the Heat, before playing the match-winning hand in the Super Over.
And despite those at-the-death heroics, Henriques says there’s much more to his game than closing out a contest.
“I wouldn’t tag myself as a finisher,” he said. “I just try to play to what the situation demands – if I need to consolidate a little bit I can do that, if we need to accelerate I feel like I can do that as well.
“Hopefully there are enough things in the toolkit that can prepare me for most situations.”
Henriques, fit again to bowl after suffering a side strain earlier in the summer, drew praise from Heat captain and Black Caps legend Brendon McCullum, who forecast the coming of age of the allrounder.
“He’s played a lot of cricket now, he’s an experienced guy,” McCullum said. “With bat, ball and in the field he’s composed – he understands what the game’s about.
“And he’s been through the mill a little bit as well; he’s been talked up a lot as an international player and he’s gone through a tough period.
“I think he’s come through the other side and he’s maturing as a cricketer.” (Courtesy .cricket.com.au)