In-form Ireland batter Harry Tector is upbeat about the cricketing summer so far for Ireland, despite admitting that the results have been a ‘mixed bag’ for his team. Tector, 22, is without doubt has been the in-form batter for Ireland in their white-ball matches against India and New Zealand, having struck two centuries and seven half-centuries in his last 11 ODIs, and two half-centuries in his last six T20Is. With South Africa and Afghanistan coming, Tector would be hoping to churn out more superlative performances with the bat.
“It’s been a mixed bag in terms of results, but the way we are playing is certainly improving – I think that’s the main takeaway of the summer so far. The brand of cricket we are playing means that sometimes we will be bowled out for a low score, but that’s what you see with pretty much most international teams.”
“I think you must accept that if you’re willing to get those big scores, and thankfully we’re seeing that more and more, that’s what we’re looking to build on, particularly as a batting unit going to a T20 World Cup in October,” said Tector ahead of two T20Is against South Africa.
Tector further elaborated about the belief and no fear approach instilled in the Ireland T20I team by the coaching staff. “I think that’s a fair assessment – I think we’ve shown that when we stand up to these teams, we are capable of going blow-for-blow with them, and it feels that way within the group.”
“We have a good team behind us helping move in this direction – Heinrich (Malan, head coach), Eagy (Ryan Eagleson) and Wils (Gary Wilson) as specialist coaches have been getting us to think more about our T20 game.”
“The belief is there that we can beat these big teams, and not to get nervous about any team we play. We go out there and want to win, we expect to win, and I guess that’s where it has been a bit disappointing this summer as we have got so close so many times.”
“The flip side of that is that we know we’re not that far away, and we know we have better cricket in us as well, which is what is so exciting. I think that ‘no fear’ mentality is key – not just with the bat but with the ball as well, and we’ve done that in part this summer, enough to give that belief to the squad that we can beat these big teams. It’s certainly something we’re looking to bring into this week in Bristol.”
Asked if Ireland have been a changed outfit since the one which played last year against the Proteas, Tector remarked, “It’s probably not that different personnel-wise, but it’s certainly different in how we’re trying to play the game and trying to create more clarity around what we’re trying to achieve. It’s not just about this week, though, it’s all about building towards the World Cup in October.”
Apart from international duties, Tector will feature for Barbados Royals in the inaugural The 6ixty – a T10 franchise tournament in the Caribbean from August 24-28 and the Caribbean Premier League from August 31 to September 30. “I’m mostly looking forward to playing with some great players in a different environment and in different conditions – and it will be valuable experience to gain before the World Cup.”
“While it’s an amazing opportunity for me to improve my game, I think the more Irish players that can get into these leagues the better, because it can only stand to our benefit to be learning in those different environments. To learn from other players and other coaches will be greatly beneficial as it will allow us to bring back knowledge for the Irish squad going forward,” concluded Tector.