Gareth Andrew: England hopeful needs to find greater consistency
Worcestershire coach Steve Rhodes is touting all-rounder Gareth Andrew for a place in England's one-day reckoning, if he can find some consistency.
The 29-year-old ex-Somerset fast bowler has enhanced his batting skills since first arriving at New Road in 2008.
Having recovered from a knee problem that hampered him in 2012, his 62 in 34 balls against Nottinghamshire last Sunday showed he was back in touch.
But Rhodes warns: "Trying to reach the next level is all about consistency."
Andrew has captured the imagination and made a few headlines by opting to play with his uniquely-shaped, longer-handled Mongoose bat, with which he clears the ropes on a regular basis.
Gareth Andrew's one-day form
- Gareth Andrew's 62 against Nottinghamshire last Sunday was only the third time he has passed 50 in 73 innings in List 'A' cricket.
- In Twenty20 cricket, he has a better strike rate, having hit four half-centuries in 61 innings.
- Andrew has taken 101 'List A' wickets at an economy rate of 6.21 and he has 81 Twenty20 scalps
He has not quite yet inherited the capacity to clear the bars too, like his Somerset and Worcestershire predecessor Ian Botham once regularly did and he did not feature in England's early season 30-man squad for this summer's Champions Trophy.
But Rhodes has had enough conversations with the England hierarchy to know that Andrew is a potential contender.
"He's certainly thought about, I know that," Rhodes told BBC Hereford & Worcester.
"He's over his knee injury now and, if he starts to produce the goods that we know he's capable of, inevitably he will be knocking on the door.
"He's a quality cricketer, an aggressive player and a matchwinner. When he's batting and you're chasing a score in one-day cricket, you're never out of the game.
"That bat of his works for Gareth and long may it continue. But, while they're looking for the wow factor, they're also looking for consistency."
After being thwarted by the rain to lose in luckless circumstances against Nottinghamshire in the YB40 last Sunday, Worcestershire were on the wrong side of the weather again on Wednesday night when they lost to Kent in another badly-curtailed game reduced to 25 overs.
Having stopped down at Canterbury, Rhodes' side return to County Championship action against Friday, their fourth away trip in five games, looking to put right a so far winless start to the season, which leaves them still propping up Division Two.
For what is their first-ever Division Two meeting with Kent, the county keep the same 12 who were on duty in last week's draw against Leicestershire at New Road.
And, for the second week running, with Kent having slipped to eighth in the table, it will be a battle of the bottom two.
Worcestershire (from): D K H Mitchell (capt), M G Pardoe, M M Ali, T T Samaraweera, A N Kervezee, N D Pinner, M Johnson (wk), G M Andrew, C J Russell, A Richardson, S H Choudhry, J D Shantry.