Michael Carberry showed that you can bat on one leg if necessary, after steering Hampshire into an encouraging position on day two of their Championship clash with Leicestershire.
The powerful left-hander – who got the call-up for the England Lions yesterday – marked his selection with an unbeaten 73 as the home side closed in on the visitors’ first-innings total of 234.
But after picking up a groin strain in the win at Glamorgan last week, injury struck again for the batsman, who had to bat with a runner for the second consecutive game, after picking up what appeared to be a calf or hamstring problem.
Dealing predominantly in boundaries after debutant Sean Terry joined him in the middle to do his running for him, Carberry had notched 13 fours and one six in his 73 not out at the close of play.
And while looking troubled when he was undergoing treatment, Carberry looked in total command as he peppered the rope with a succession of fluent strokes.
His knock saw Hampshire close the day on 181 for four – just 53 runs behind and with six wickets in hand after Liam Dawson followed up his efforts on day one by claiming his first five-wicket haul in Championship cricket.
On a pitch that offered little help to a spinner, Dawson showed that accuracy and patience pays off, with Leicestershire going from their overnight 159 for six to 234 all out as he claimed an impressive five for 29.
In reply, the home innings got off to a disappointing start as Terry was out for a five-ball duck in his first Championship outing.
Quite why the 20-year-old was thrown in at the deep end to open when Carberry and Simon Katich are renowned openers was open to debate.
But Hampshire clearly opted for one straight change in the absence of Jimmy Adams, rather than reshuffling the batting order.
It looked harsh on the young man who would surely have profited from a role further down the order.
But Katich (54) and Carberry put on a stand of 124 for the third wicket as they steadied the ship after the loss of the opening pair with just 25 on the board.
The out-of-sorts James Vince (five) departed soon after Katich’s demise, but Carberry and Sean Ervine (17 not out) batted sensibly to avoid further loss.
That provided hope to now build a decent first-innings lead on day three.