North battling to demystify enigma behind his batting peaks and troughs

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

SYDNEY - Australian middle-order batsman Marcus North admits that he struggles to fully understand why his career has been so distorted.

North has scored five centuries in 19 Tests, but he also has 16 scores of 10 or less.

The 31-year-old now heads into the first Ashes Test against England in Brisbane on Thursday still under pressure to keep his spot.

“What you see from me day in day out is who I am, but when I look at my record I don’t get it either. It has been a little bit like that throughout my career. Because of the level of cricket I play now there is more scrutiny and fair enough, too,” Fox Sports quoted North, as saying.

“I am working really hard at it. I know there is an area of my game which, if I can get it up, I won’t be averaging 39 or so. but in the high 40s. I don’t think it is nerves. It is about having really positive feet and being sharp mentally early in an innings. Just having a really basic game plan and sticking to it,” he added.

North now insists that the fighting century against India in the recent Bangalore Test and another ton for Western Australia in the Sheffield Shield has offered him some breathing space and he is confident he can back it up.

“We worked really hard on it entering the Bangalore Test match and I felt my feet were sharper. That is where I have worked hard since coming back from India. When I haven’t been making runs there have been a lot of times when I have been getting out really quickly,” North said.

“All batters have worked out that the first 30 or 40 balls in an innings are the most important. I am starting to work some good theories out. It is something I have worked very hard on with (batting coach) Justin Langer and (coach) Tim Nielsen,” he added. (ANI)

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