Peter Badel in Hyderabad, News Limited Network, February 28, 2013

Test match

Source: The Daily Telegraph

MOISES Henriques’ star is rising. Just seven days after winning a baggy green cap, Henriques is set to be rewarded for his breakthrough summer by clinching a Cricket Australia contract worth $190,000.

News Limited can reveal the Ashes hopeful will officially be handed a CA deal if, as expected, he is retained for the second Test against India starting Saturday in Hyderabad.

Eight months ago, the talented but inconsistent allrounder was barely a blip on the contractual radar when Cricket Australia slashed its 25-man list to 17 for the 2012-13 season.

Henriques is even fortunate to be on this tour, but his nerveless baptism in the first Test, where he scored 68 and 81 not out, has effectively delivered him a national contract.

A player not currently on CA’s contract list must accrue 12 match-points to be upgraded from a state-based deal.

A one-day clash is worth two, while five contract points are awarded for a Test match.

Henriques is one-point shy of a CA deal, having picked up six from three one-day games against Sri Lanka last month, but his selection for Hyderabad will elevate him into the true elite.

The impending CA upgrade is a significant milestone for the 26-year-old, who will be a serious contender for the Ashes in July if he emphatically franks his potential on this four-Test tour.

“It has been a long road,” Henriques said. “There have been a lot of injuries and in amongst those injuries there has been some inconsistent form as well.

“In the past, I have showed some glimpses and little starts but this year my Shield form has been more consistent with the bat and ball.

“At that level, I feel I have been more consistent and performing a lot better, but this is a new step-up for me.”

Henriques’ combined tally of 149 runs in Chennai was the most scored by an Australian on debut since Michael Clarke, his current skipper, blasted 151 in Bangalore in 2004.

Also his NSW colleague, Clarke is not surprised at Henriques’ cool head under pressure in saving Australia from the embarrassment of an innings defeat.

“He’s played a lot of first-class cricket. He’s been around first-class cricket for a long time,” the captain said.

“He’s always had talent. It’s just about trying to turn that talent into performance.

“I think its very exciting the way he has started. He’s been a very talented player for a long time back in Australia but it’s nice to see that potential come to the forefront in his first Test match.

“He’s a very good athlete. When he was selected for this (squad) he was the leading runscorer for NSW in Sheffield Shield cricket and he’s started this series really well.

“He looked very comfortable with both bat and ball. That’s exciting for Australian cricket going forward and very exciting for Moises.”

Australian coach Mickey Arthur is adamant Henriques will not be a one-Test wonder.

“I just think the maturity he showed (in the first Test) was amazing,” he said. “I thought he was outstanding. That was very, very pleasing because Moises gives you that third or fourth seamer and it gives you another batsman.

“Lets hope he goes from strength to strength.


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