ODI hopeful Dawson is focused on Hampshire recovery

ODI hopeful Dawson is focused on Hampshire recovery

Liam Dawson's international career has begun, but right now Hampshire is his priority. DEC's Brad Adams reports.

For some, being in the field for two full days as the opposition score over 700 might seem like a nightmare taken from the depths of hell. For Liam Dawson, that experience was much more positive.

His Test debut in December saw England concede 759 to India and lose by an innings, despite having scored nearly 500 in their own first innings.

And yet Dawson, 27, relished the opportunity to play at the highest level.

“It was [my] Test debut so it’s hard not to enjoy it,” he told reporters at Hampshire’s media day. “It was obviously hard work but on your Test debut, there [are] not many people who can say they’ve done it so for me it was an unbelievable five days, it was a great experience and something that I won’t ever forget.”

On a personal level, it wasn’t a bad debut – at least in the grand scheme of things. A first innings 66 unbeaten and two wickets marked a solid return in an otherwise miserable affair.

But, for the time being, his England aspirations remain firmly on one-day cricket, where Dawson considers himself to be more accustomed.

“Test cricket is a little way off for me. That’s being realistic. But obviously one-day cricket, I back myself against anyone so hopefully, if I have a good season then I can be involved in a few squads this summer.”

England face Ireland and South Africa in ODIs in May before the Champions Trophy in June, but with only three Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures before that run, Dawson is hopeful of being in contention.

“I think I’m in a good place with my white-ball cricket and there’s not much more I can do. I had a good North v South series and that was obviously very pleasing so all you can do is perform and, hopefully, I’ll put my name in the hat.”

For the moment, however, he is very much focused on his county and helping them recover from a difficult 2016 season.

“My [aim in] four-day cricket is to continue to be consistent. It’d probably be good to put more numbers up, more hundreds, and I think with the ball I do the job that I’m asked to do for the team.

“For my white ball cricket to continue what I’ve done the past two years, to be a match-winner in that. I’d like to think I’ve done that well in the last two years.”

The club avoided County Championship relegation because of Durham’s financial issues and crashed out of the T20 Blast in the group stage for the first time in nearly ten years.

“It’s not something that you want to celebrate,” he said. “It’s not a way that you want to be staying in the division, it’s obviously very harsh on Durham, but it is what it is and we’ve been extremely lucky to stay in Division One and hopefully let’s not be in that same situation come September.

“We obviously didn’t do very well last year in white-ball cricket. It doesn’t make you a bad one-day side.”

To try and turn things around, Hampshire have brought in former South African internationals Kyle Abbott and Rilee Rossouw, along with former Australian captain George Bailey, who will lead the side in the Championship.

“It’s good recruitment from the club to get them and for them wanting to come to Hampshire as well, that obviously shows the ambition of the club and that’s obviously a massive thing.

“I think it’s one of the strongest squads I’ve been involved in.”


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