McDermott focusing on BBL duties

Ben McDermott is taking big steps towards Australian selection. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

IN-form batsman Ben McDermott has vowed to remain focused on securing the Hobart Hurricanes a BBL finals spot rather than be distracted by talk of a recall to the Australian team.

With Australian Test and T20 teams set to go on simultaneous tours of South Africa and New Zealand respectively in February-March, 26-year-old McDermott seems destined to play for a national team for the first time since a T20 match against Pakistan in Perth in November, 2019.

While the T20 tour to New Zealand is McDermott’s most likely way back into international cricket, he’s not without hope of going to South Africa as a Test bolter, particularly after Australia’s 2-1 Test series loss to India.

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Apart from his good form for the Hurricanes – who meet the Perth Scorchers at Marvel Stadium on Friday night – McDermott also showed his worth last month with an unbeaten 107 for Australia A against India in a first-class match at the SCG.

India’s attack included Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini, who all caused Australia’s batsmen problems at various stages of the four-Test series.

McDermott said it was a matter of making the most of the opportunity when it was came his way after being called into the A team following Will Pucovski’s concussion in the previous match.

Ready for battle are (L-R) Hobart Hurricanes pair Riley Meredith and Ben McDermott, and Perth Scorchers duo AJ Tye and Jhye Richardson. Picture: Mark Stewart
Ready for battle are (L-R) Hobart Hurricanes pair Riley Meredith and Ben McDermott, and Perth Scorchers duo AJ Tye and Jhye Richardson. Picture: Mark Stewart

“That was unfortunate for ‘Puc’ – you never want that to happen,” McDermott said.

“I just had to not look to far ahead and try to bat as well as I could at the time when given the chance.”

McDermott is similarly focusing only the present – the business end of the BBL season – rather than concern himself with potential selection.

“I just need to keep doing well for the Hurricanes and help the team do well. Playing for Australia would be a bonus,” he said.

“If I can keep scoring runs then those other chances will come.”

McDermott’s father, former Australian fast bowler Craig McDermott, said in 2018 that his son – who is also a handy wicket-keeper – could play for Australia in all three formats.

“Looking at him as a player and the way he develops because I have obviously seen a lot of other young players develop … I think he has got the ability to play all three formats at the highest level,” Craig McDermott told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Scorchers paceman AJ Tye agreed that Ben McDermott had what it took to succeed at this highest level.

“He’s definitely go the ability to be a really good player at international level, and hopefully he’ll get another chance,” said Tye, who added that the Scorchers were keen dismiss McDermott cheaply on Friday night.

“We don’t want to just focus on one guy but he’s been the mainstay for them, so we’ll come up with something and hopefully we see the back of him early.”

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