Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

Why Test debutant Moises Henriques needs to look at Michael Clarke for inspiration

Why Test debutant Moises Henriques needs to look at Michael Clarke for inspiration

Moises Henriques, born in Funchal, Portugal, which is also the birthplace of the iconic footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, has been on the selectors’ radar for a few years, but his international appearances have been limited to the one-day arena © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Donning the coveted Baggy Green is the ultimate honour for any Australian cricketer. That honour has now been conferred upon all-rounder Moises Henriques, who is set to become the 432nd Test player to represent Australia when they face India at Chennai on February 22. Henriques beat the off-spinning all-rounder Glenn Maxwell in the race for the coveted cap ahead of the first Test.

For years, Henriques has been earmarked as a special talent with his useful medium-pacers and an aggressive approach to batting. Born in Funchal, Portugal (which is also the birthplace of the iconic footballer Cristiano Ronaldo), he has been on the selectors’ radar for a few years, but his international appearances have been limited to the one-day arena. However, the Test cap is a big step and the opportunity to impress and cement his spot in the side.

Henriques’ record in First-Class cricket:

M R Ave 100s 50s HS Wkts Ave
39 1745 30.61 1 11 161* 78 27.07

 
This record may not stand-out per se, but his returns during the 2012-13 First-Class season have been fantastic. In six games, he has scored 391 runs at an average of 65.16. With the ball, he picked up 14 wickets at 20.28. That has propelled his return to the Australian side after playing a few One-Day Internationals (ODIs) against Sri Lanka last month. In all likelihood, he will bat at No 7 and would be a back-up to the three fast-bowlers — should one of them have a bad day.

For some, Henriques’ selection ahead of Maxwell may seem surprising. Australia are already playing three frontline pacers in Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle and James Pattinson with Nathan Lyon being the lone spinner. While pace bowlers may have done well in India in recent years, Australia may have gone a bit too far on this occasion. With four fast-bowling options and the lone-spinner, they are pace heavy and the pressure on Lyon may be too much.

Maxwell’s inclusion would have given the side more balance as he could have backed up Lyon with his off-breaks. Perhaps, Michael Clarke may roll his arm over with his slow left-armers and that may have been a factor in making that call. The other reason why Henriques would have got in is the fact that Shane Watson wouldn’t be bowling during this series.

The onus is on Lyon to perform, but his experience in Sri Lanka (in 2011) should hold him in good stead. Against a formidable Sri Lankan batting line-up, he recorded a fifer in his very first innings. Since then he has established himself as Australia first-choice spinner and there is some stability in that department following the post-Shane Warne uncertainty. Lyon hasn’t had a good season at home, but might get back into his elements on the spin-friendly Indian tracks. As Stuart MacGill advised him, he needs to replicate the performance of his debut series.

Australia top three, David Warner, Ed Cowan and Phil Hughes, would be playing their first Tests in India. That puts an added responsibility on the shoulders of Watson and Clarke at numbers four and five as they will have to anchor the innings. In a sense, the glue of the Australian batting line-up is right in the middle as Mathew Wade and Henriques are also new to the Indian conditions. Considering these factors, it is a huge challenge for Henriques.

Recent tours would suggest that India hasn’t generally been a happy place for Australian debutants. Clarke is the only one who has gone on to build a successful career, but the others fell by the wayside. Nathan Hauritz made his Test debut on the 2004 tour, but had to wait for four more years for his next game. Cameron White (debut: 2008) and Peter George (debut: 2010) are yet to add to their Test caps after their first series. There is also the curious case of Jason Krejza, who picked up 12 wickets on debut but played only one more Test.

Henriques would want to change that negative trend and his inspiration in that regard he need not look beyond Clarke for inspiration. 

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and an analyst, anchor and voice-over artist for the site’s YouTube Channel. He shot to fame by spotting a wrong replay during IPL4 which resulted in Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal. His insights on the game have come in for high praise from cerebral former cricketers. He has also participated on live TV talk-shows on cricket. Nishad can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nishad_44)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Royal Challengers Bangalore won by 7 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

Rajasthan Royals (RR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Live Cricket Score IPL 2014: Rajasthan win toss, elect to bowl

Who else but Shakespeare on the World Book and Copyright Day?

IPL 2013: Shane Watson’s scintillating century against Chennai Super Kings goes in vain

John Small — The first man to use a straight bat

IPL 2014: Dwayne Bravo’s absence a major blow for Chennai Super Kings

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab KXIP vs SRH KXIP vs SRH 2014 MS Dhoni Mumbai Indians Rajasthan Royals Royal Challengers Bangalore Sunrisers Hyderabad

Rajasthan Royals (RR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Free Live Streaming Online IPL 2014

Live Cricket Score IPL 2014: Rajasthan Royals (RR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) match 10 of IPL 7 at Dubai

Rajasthan Royals (RR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) Live Scorecard IPL 2014: Match 10 of IPL 7 at Dubai

Paul Farbrace can be a good addition to England: Graham Ford

Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara’s T20 retirement leads to heated email exchange with SLC

Meg Lanning, Arran Brindle and other women cricketers who have led at a younger age than ther male counterparts

IPL 2013: Chris Gayle’s monumental 175 against Pune Warriors India

Aditya Verma waging war against BCCI for future of Bihar cricket

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad need to have a relook at their top-heavy batting line-up

Hasan Raza: The youngest Test debutant

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Is Aman Varma the next drama queen of telly land?

IPL 2014, RCB vs KKR: bowling heavy KKR to face batting giants RCB

Ranveer Singh: I’m very comfortable speaking about sex!

Arrest warrant issued against BJP leader Giriraj Singh

Also on cricketcountry.com