Attacking wicket-keeper opener, Josh Philippe is set to make his international debut for Australia in the forthcoming T20I series against New Zealand. Australia’s limited-overs captain, Aaron Finch has announced that Josh Philippe, Matthew Wade, and Finch himself will bat in the top three against the Kiwis.
As David Warner and Steve Smith are rested from the T20I side, it is a crucial opportunity for Philippe to make a case for himself for the T20 World Cup later in the year in India.
The right-hander was in phenomenal form in the recently concluded Big Bash League – Philippe amassed 508 runs in 16 games at an average of 31.75 and more importantly a strike rate of 149.41 as Sydney Sixers won the consecutive BBL title.
The 23-year-old reveals the lessons he took from the likes of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli during his stint in the IPL last year. He was been advised to keep things simple and not complicate it while in the middle under pressure.
As quoted by ESPNcricinfo, Josh Philippe said, “I think it was just being in the same dressing room as some absolute superstars like that was really special. I sort of leant on AB a lot. He gave me some great advice along the way. It was just really cool to see how they go about their business out in the middle. There was some really challenging situations out there and they keep it so simple.”
Every time I asked a question or asked what they were thinking it just went back down to stand still, watch the ball, some really simple clear messages. It was pretty cool to know that the best in the business just keep in simple,” he added.
Learned to rotate strike early on from AB: Josh Philippe
Josh Philippe noticed how AB de Villiers was off the strike and took quick singles at the start of his innings to not let the pressure of dot balls build. The youngster played just 5 matches for RCB last season, but was so impressive that the franchise has retained him over Aaron Finch; Josh Philippe also offers the wicket-keeping alternative which would relieve De Villiers from the additional role.
“One thing I noticed, especially with someone like AB is just his ability to get off strike early. He never blew the game away too early. He was always sort of 10 off 8 or 12 off 10 and he’d set a platform from there and really target the back end. I think for me if that’s where my opportunity is I just need to be really busy at the crease. Whoever is at the other end, just sort of pass the strike off to them and really set up to target the last few overs,” the right-hander added.
The 5-match T20I series between Australia and New Zealand is slated to commence on 22nd February in Christchurch.