PEARS bowling coach Alan Richardson praised Ross Whiteley for becoming more and more of a threat with the ball as well as the bat.
Richardson saluted Whiteley’s increasing role as a fifth seamer in Specsavers County Championship cricket to go alongside his explosive batting and excellent fielding after he dismissed two of the top five in the Middlesex batting line-up on day one of the match at New Road.
Whiteley admirably stepped into the breach after Ed Barnard temporarily left the field clutching his left side mid-way through his fifth over during Monday’s morning session.
He sent back Nick Gubbins (27) and Steve Eskinazi (12) and ended with 2-35 from 8.4 overs as Middlesex were dismissed for 221.
Richardson said Whiteley’s added bowling skills gave the Pears more balance.
“It’s all down to Ross really. He’s shown a real willingness that he wants to bowl. He probably feels like he hasn’t done that much over the last couple of years.
“He has been fantastic, the work ethic he puts in. He comes to me every day pretty much – in practice and on game days – and bowls and bowls and bowls. Ross keeps it really simple and it’s a huge bonus to us to have that fifth seamer and he is also a left armer.
“He swings it and is doing the right things by trying to bowl top of off stump as long as he can and his contribution was absolutely invaluable. He has bowled some valuable overs for us during the season and none more so than with Ed going off.
“It was really impressive and it is great for him to have that contribution and so it’s not just with the bat and being good in the field. If he can do it with the ball as well, it gives us far more balance in our side.”
Barnard returned before lunch and bowled an excellent second spell to finish with 1-14 from 10.2 overs.
Richardson said: “This time last year, Ed was flying in the wickets tally. I don’t think he is bowling much differently this year. He just probably hasn’t had those rewards.
“He has done some really solid work and has got a really good mindset and work ethic.
“He was probably the pick of our bowlers and certainly deserved his wicket and it was great that he managed to get back out on the park and bowled a really valuable second spell for us.”