Ervine adapts in new Hampshire role

Sean Ervine
Sean Ervine
England's Mason Crane will make his England Test debut when the fifth Ashes Test begins at Sydney Cricket Ground tonight

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Sean Ervine insists he is happy to provide the fire-power down the order as he adapts to his changing role at Hampshire.

The popular Zimbabwean has seen his position change in recent seasons, having previously batted as high as number three in the line-up in the shortest form of the game.

But with Hampshire well stocked for fast-scoring batsmen, Ervine is now tasked with coming in towards the end of an innings at number six – a position where he has not even been required to bat twice in this season’s Natwest T20 Blast.

And while he admits it’s a challenge, his nine years at the club is welcome experience as Hampshire bid to extend their impressive form at Glamorgan tonight.

Ervine said: ‘My role has changed in the t20 a little bit, having dropped down to six.

‘I haven’t even batted in two of the games.

‘It’s hard to leave guys out like Glenn Maxwell, Owais Shah, Jimmy Adams, Michael Carberry and James Vince. These are top players and international players.

‘Those guys up front have done very well.

‘It’s hard sometimes because I want to get out there but you’ve got to accept it and contribute down the order.

‘It’s new to me but I’ve got to adapt to the situation.’

While the 31-year-old is renowned for his power in scoring boundaries, he admits there is even more pressure to do that at a later stage in the innings.

He explained: ‘I’ve got to change my game a bit and not take as long as I normally do to get going. I need to get things moving quickly.

‘Now I’m usually coming in with six or seven overs to go and you need to take less time to get yourself in and go from the start.

‘One of the most difficult situations is when you get two new guys at the crease with five or six overs to go.

‘If you have a new batter, he will look to rotate the strike and get the other guy back on.

‘Then once you get going, it means you can both smash it.

‘But if there are two new guys, you want to face a few balls to get the pace of the wicket and get your eye in but you don’t have that luxury.

‘I’ve struggled in picking my moments a bit this year.

‘But there are a few games to go, so hopefully I will get an opportunity to play a big part in winning a match for us somewhere along the line.’

Ervine also knows the loss of Neil McKenzie’s versatility to the Hampshire batting order has played a major part in his changing role.

‘Myself and Macca would often switch it, depending on the situation we were in,’ said Ervine.

‘If there was a left-arm spinner bowling or if we needed to up the ante, I would go in at number four. If not, I would bat at five.

‘We were flexible but Macca was class and held the innings together on many occasions.’

And Ervine expects a tough examination from the Welsh outfit, who sit just two points behind Hampshire in the south division table, in their Cardiff showdown.

He added: ‘They have always been tough opposition to play against, especially at their place.

‘They know their ground very well and have their plans.

‘But although we haven’t quite fired on all cylinders yet, we are playing well. It should be a good test.

‘The season has been going well and we want that to continue.’