Official Player Websites Subscribe - Free Newsletter

Sports News First

In-form Carters wants NSW Shield title

By Chris Pike
21 February 2014 05:04AM EST

LONG-term Ryan Carters wants to be a wicket-keeper batsman but right now he is happy opening for New South Wales as the Blues make no secret of hunting the 2013/14 Sheffield Shield title.

Carters starred again for NSW on Thursday hitting his third century of the Shield season ending up out for 104 as the Blues finishing the opening day against Western Australia at the WACA Ground in a solid position at 7-291 after losing captain Peter Nevill for 30 on the final ball of the day.

NSW came to Perth on top of the table following an innings and 48-run thrashing of Victoria at the SCG and the Blues are making no secret of the fact that their sights are firmly set on winning the 2013/14 Sheffield Shield title.

The 23-year-old Carters was only too happy to outline what NSW's goals are, but they won't be letting that take their minds off getting the job done on the field over the next three games to ensure they do qualify for that final.

"This is a very important game in the context of the competition and both sides know that. I'm sure both teams will keep fighting hard over the next three days and the match is anyone's for the taking at the moment so it's going to be a terrific contest," Carters said.

"There's no point pretending that you are not aiming for what you are aiming to achieve as long as it doesn’t distract you from focusing on the particular moment in front of you. But to the extent that can help us work hard in every moment it's definitely worth keeping in mind.

"It's always at the front of our minds and in every game we play we are here to win because we want to make the Shield final, and win it. I think every team would say the same and that has certainly been our No. 1 goal in Shield cricket and so far things are going quite well, but we know we have to be on top of our game for the rest of the season."

Carters is in tremendous form now having scored three Shield centuries in his last eight knocks to be one of the best-performing opening batsmen in the country.

With Nevill currently taking the gloves, though, Carters has to bide his time while playing as an opening batsman and fielding in the slips cordon.

He is happy to do that, but in no way will he be forgetting to work on his wicket-keeping and his desires to still be a keeper while batting high in the order for a long time with NSW, and possibly even Australia if he can keep his current form going.

"I've always batted at the top of the order and kept wickets, which might be a little unusual, but I don’t see any reason why I should change that approach to cricket. Certainly at this stage I'm going to keep working equally hard on my batting and keeping," he said.

"I always keep working really hard on my keeping and consider that just as important as my batting. I was keeping in the Big Bash (for the Sydney Thunder) this year and was quite happy with how I went doing that there.

"Even though I'm not keeping now and I'm perfectly happy to be opening the batting and standing in the slips, I'm just happy to be in the XI at NSW. At the same time, I'm never going to drop my keeping and I will keep working as hard as I can on that."

Carters came into this Shield season having scored 494 runs in 21 innings at an average of only 23.52 with only three half-centuries to his credit, but he has made massive strides now in 2013/14.

The right-hander originally from Canberra who began his domestic career in Victoria before joining NSW is having a superb season, though, having now scored 574 runs with three centuries at an average of 63.77 including a highest score of 154.

He puts his success this season down to several factors.

"I'm really enjoying all my time in the middle at the moment. I try to never forget how lucky we are to be playing Sheffield Shield cricket and representing our state, and enjoy every moment. As long as I can stay present and do my best, then I hope the results will take care of themselves," he said.

"I think it's just about having an individual recipe for how you are going to approach batting, and to not go outside of that is the most important part. If you get out sticking to your plan, then you can cop that but if you play a shot you shouldn’t then that's when you should be annoyed at yourself.

"I try to stick to my plan and that's if the bowlers bowl well for a period of time then I have to respect that and maybe let them be on top for a half hour or hour, and just try to get through."

As for the current game in Perth, NSW was in a dominant position on the opening day at 2-182 with Carters and Ben Rohrer (77) together at the crease, and then again 3-234 with Carters at the crease with Patterson.

However, the Blues couldn’t quite ram home that advantage to now be 7-291 heading into Day 2 but with Doug Bollinger, Josh Hazlewood, Sean Abbott and Trent Copeland they will be confident of coming away with a first innings lead still.

"Losing two wickets in the last half-hour has hurt us a bit and has probably brought the day back towards an even sort of pegging where as we were definitely ahead at 5-260 and would have loved to be five-down. In saying that, we are happy with how the day has panned out and we would have taken 7-290 at the start," Carters said.

"We've definitely got a strong seam attack who have been bowling well but WA have some in-form players as well. I think it will be a great contest when it does come time for us to bowl, and it's going to be a great test of bat against ball and either team could come out on top."

Your view first

Add your comment... Comments (0)