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 McDermottâ€™s most likely way back into international cricket, heâ€™s not without hope of going to South Africa as a Test bolter, particularly after Australiaâ€™s 2-1 Test series loss to India.
Apart from his good form for the Hurricanes â€“ who meet the Perth Scorchers at Marvel Stadium on Friday night â€“ McDermott also showed his worth last month with an unbeaten 107 for Australia A against India in a first-class match at the SCG.
Indiaâ€™s attack included Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini, who all caused Australiaâ€™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 Pucovskiâ€™s concussion in the previous match.
â€œThat was unfortunate for â€˜Pucâ€™ – you never want that to happen,â€ McDermott said.
â€œI just had to not look to far ahead and try to bat as well as I could at the time when given the chance.â€
McDermott is similarly focusing only the present – the business end of the BBL season â€“ rather than concern himself with potential selection.
â€œI just need to keep doing well for the Hurricanes and help the team do well. Playing for Australia would be a bonus,â€ he said.
â€œIf I can keep scoring runs then those other chances will come.â€
McDermottâ€™s father, former Australian fast bowler Craig McDermott, said in 2018 that his son â€“ who is also a handy wicket-keeper â€“ could play for Australia in all three formats.
â€œLooking 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,â€ 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.
â€œHeâ€™s definitely go the ability to be a really good player at international level, and hopefully heâ€™ll get another chance,â€ said Tye, who added that the Scorchers were keen dismiss McDermott cheaply on Friday night.
â€œWe donâ€™t want to just focus on one guy but heâ€™s been the mainstay for them, so weâ€™ll come up with something and hopefully we see the back of him early.â€