Adam Wheater is determined to build on his first season for Hampshire after blasting a fine century in his latest outing and is prepared to give up the wicketkeeper’s job.
The former Essex man joined the club in controversial circumstances before the start of the season as he was brought in to replace the talented keeper Michael Bates and add more runs to the line-up.
But in recent games, Hampshire have selected both men with Wheater operating as a specialist batsman and Bates wearing the gloves.
The 23-year-old yesterday completed a run-a-ball 122 – which included 15 fours and one six – against his old county as Hampshire compiled 456 in their first innings.
And when Essex were then bowled out for just 207 – with Matt Coles (six for 71) starring with the ball, the home side enforced the follow-on.
The visitors closed on 44 without loss in their second innings – still 205 runs behind.
Wheater, meanwhile, insists he has no problem with playing as a specialist batsman.
He said: ‘As long as I’m playing, I’m really not that fussed.
‘Batesy is a very good keeper, so I wouldn’t be disappointed.
‘Maybe next season it might be different – I don’t know. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of keeping.
‘It’s been tough at times but if the opportunity arises to be a top-five batsman, I will take that but I would take being a keeper-batsman as well.’
Wheater also admits he is looking for more consistency next term.
He said: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting in and getting out but it’s been nice to still score two hundreds.
‘It’s not been a train smash but I haven’t done as well as I had hoped.’