Hornets vet welcomes late-season role change
IT IS rare to cast an eye over an Ipswich/Logan scorecard and see the initials "D. Wilson” at number six, particularly in a two-day match.
But that was where the Hornets veteran found himself on Saturday against Redlands at Baxter Oval.
With the Hornets out of finals contention, the decision to move Wilson down the order in favour of young rising star Bryn Llewellyn was made with one eye on the future.
Wilson admits he is not getting any younger, and now is the perfect time to tinker with the top order so as to best prepare the club for a time when he no longer makes his way to the middle each and every weekend.
"It's a different role, something I haven't done for a long time in two-day cricket, even going right back to when I was still playing at Souths,” Wilson said.
"It's a different challenge, but once you get to this stage of my career, it can be a new challenge that helps keep you fresh.”
That Wilson (49) and Llewellyn (45) were the two best-performed Hornets on Saturday is neither here nor there. One solid innings does not a new game plan make. But the Hornets' batting coach knows that better than anybody. He has faith a player of Llewellyn's calibre will find continuity in his game, so long as the club continues to give him the chance.
As for Wilson, batting lower down the order did not just change his match day experience once at the crease, but everything in the lead-up as well.
"Even just the little things I guess, like getting to the game,” he said.
"When you open you know you're on at 10am regardless. Whereas batting in the middle order, it can take a bit of time to get used to. If we bat, you're relaxing first and then must get ready for when the time comes.”
Wilson added it was not so much a removal of responsibility, but a change in responsibility which came with the switch.
"To use a football term, when you open it's nil-all and you shape the direction the game goes in,” he said.
"Batting in the middle order, the game is shaped before you come out. Some days you'll be under a lot of pressure because you're four or five down for not many, other times you can play with complete freedom because you're four or five down for a heap.”