INTERVIEW: Middlesex's modest Gubbins stays humble and hungry after grabbing Lords century
PUBLISHED: 02:33 22 April 2017 | UPDATED: 02:48 22 April 2017
PA Archive/PA Images
Hugely-promising Middlesex opener Nick Gubbins hit a century in the first day of the four day game against Essex at Lords.
Fellow opener Sam Robson also grabbed a ton and remains unbeaten on 144 as Middlesex ended a truncated opening day on a healthy 255/1 after bad light stopped play.
Gubbins, who was out for 101 on the stroke of tea, caught at the wicket pushing forward to Aaron Beard, enjoyed playing at Lords for the first time since his team clinched the County Championship in dramatic circumstances last season.
Gubbins who hit more than 1,400 runs in his breakthrough year last summer as Middlesex won the title on a never-to-be-forgotten thrilling climax to the county season by beating Yorkshire at the home of cricket last September after a wait of 23 years is staying true to Seaxes’ supremo Gus Fraser’s mantra of ‘humble and hungry’.
The talented 23-year-old left hand bat was near to a Test call-up over the winter after hitting 1,409 Championship runs at 61.26 last year - but had to be satisfied with England Lions selection after Haseeb Hameed and then Keaton Jennings were both chosen before him.
However Radley old boy Gubbins – who hit 125 and 93 in that incredible victory over Yorkshire – carried on where he left off by making his way to three figures as he and Robson dominated the Essex attack.
Speaking after play had ended for the day Gubbins said: “It’s a good cricket wicket – you don’t expect anything else at Lords really.
“I’m absolutely delighted with my century. It’s really pleasing to get the boys off to a good start with Sam at the other end.
“We’ll be looking to push on. It’s a shame we lost the last session to light but we’ll rock up in the morning and look to kick on.”
Referring to his team’s hard-fought draw down at the Rosebowl he said: “We don’t do things the easy way – but we’ve showed teams again exactly what we’re made of.
“It’s great to build momentum. We did that last season with hard-earned draws when we probably shouldn’t have got anything out of some games.
“We saved losses and won games we shouldn’t have and we’ve taken that momentum out there again today.”
Stressing the importance of time in the middle at the start of the season he explained: “It was more important to face the 190-something balls I faced today than to get the century as early season for me is just about facing as many balls as possible.
“Early season is the bowlers time of the season. I’m looking to face as many balls as possible as come later in the season it will stand me in good stead.
“You don’t worry about the toss. You don’t worry about the forecast. It’s just an acceptance about what I can do for the lads.
“I didn’t feel in great nick at times. Some of the periods of play were a battle but you just try and get through it. You say to yourself ‘just keep going and it will begin to get easier.”
Refusing to set targets after last year’s success and superb form Gubbins added: “I don’t really want to look at last season and set that as a benchmark as you get in a dangerous position. It’s more just trying to take each game as it comes and then pushing on. A big thing for me is trying to get to 35 in each innings and pushing on from there.
“I’m sticking very much to my processes. If you’re looking at outcomes you’re getting one step ahead of yourself.
“There’s an acceptance that being out there the ball will do a bit. You’ll edge a few and you’ll nick a few and miss a few. It’s just accepting that it will happen in April opening the batting.
“You’re looking to drive, looking to cut bad balls. Anything else you’re looking to play with respect and do your best.
He praised fellow opener Robson as the Sydney born batsman enhanced his England prospects.
Modest Gubbins said of his teammate: “Sam has helped me. I think our right-hand, left-hand combination is good.
“Hopefully he can go and make a really big score tomorrow.”