Middlesex’s new batting star Stephen Eskinazi inspired by Adam Voges
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Middlesex’s Stephen Eskinazi is aiming to model his game on that of club captain Adam Voges after scoring back-to-back first-class centuries in the past week.
Eskinazi, who grew up in Western Australia and represented the state up to Under-19 level, struck 106 against Lancashire in only his second County Championship appearance for Middlesex and followed that up with 157 in their thrilling victory against Yorkshire at Scarborough.
Having watched Voges become a successful batsman and captain at Western Australia, the 22-year-old has been further inspired by his presence at Lord’s in recent years.
“It’s been interesting to see Adam’s rise to fame,” said Eskinazi. “As a young player at Western Australia I could see he was one of the most consistent performers for the last 10 years.
“It was no surprise when he broke into the Australia side and did so well. To have him at this club has been great because I’ve had the opportunity to spend a little bit of time with him.
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“Learning from him is great for a young player like me. I see myself hopefully trying to be a similar kind of player to him – a traditional top- order batsman who likes to occupy the crease and score big runs.
“Traditionally people make their way into the first team in white-ball cricket but, without trying to pigeonhole myself, I’m probably more suited to the red-ball game.
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“Most of my success in the second team has come through four-day cricket and I prefer that form of the game – I prefer to dig my heels in and bat for long periods of time.”
Eskinazi, who made his Middlesex debut at the back end of last season, was handed another opportunity in the Lancashire match at Lord’s, filling Nick Compton’s no3 slot after the latter announced he was taking a break from the game.
The right-hander immediately rose to the occasion, sharing a second-wicket partnership of 208 with Nick Gubbins in that rain-affected draw.
And, having topped 150 for the first time against Yorkshire, the indications are that Eskinazi’s decision to return to the UK three years ago – having spent part of his childhood in Hampshire – and join Middlesex is well on the way to being vindicated.
“I was quite close to breaking through as a contracted player at Western Australia and to come back here was a tough decision initially, leaving my comfort zone,” he added.
“But I really thought English county cricket would suit me and, with 18 counties as opposed to seven states, there is more opportunity to make your mark.
“It’s the best decision I’ve ever made because I’ve made some of the greatest mates and I’ve had the opportunity to play at Lord’s with one of the most prestigious domestic sides in the world.”
Middlesex’s success at Scarborough, by an innings and four runs, lifted them to the top of the County Championship table and inflicted the defending champions’ first defeat of the season.
The new Division One leaders face Glamorgan in the NatWest T20 Blast at Richmond on Friday before travelling to Taunton for their four-day fixture against Somerset, which gets under way on Sunday.