CB Series 2011-12 February 13, 2012

Forrest benefits from new landscape


Peter Forrest is reaping the benefits of a new state for himself and a new broom for Australian cricket.

Rewarded for his own initiative in moving to a team that welcomed him in Queensland, Forrest is also a living example of the Argus review directives that placed renewed emphasis on rewarding domestic players for performance, and a new selection panel casting its net wide for men of strong character to represent Australia.

After looking at home while making 66 on debut against India in Adelaide, Forrest can expect to keep his squad place for the remainder of the triangular series, and beyond that the West Indies now beckon. It is quite a rise for a man who, like the Test opener Ed Cowan, left New South Wales having never felt assured of his place in the Blues' XI.

"I didn't think I was any chance of playing for Australia this year at all, so thankfully I've performed reasonably well this year and the selectors have rewarded me," Forrest said in Brisbane. "For the players, that's all they can ask - if they perform then they get the opportunity. It is really good for the playing group to know that.

"The way I've played for Queensland this year is just to scrap around and do it my way, so I thought I was going to do that yesterday, and thankfully it paid off. It is a team sport and we needed a win yesterday to continue our momentum, so it was nice to contribute. But it would've been nicer had I got 80-plus or a hundred, and got our side a win."

A popular team man in NSW even though his first-team opportunities were limited, Forrest has carved out a more permanent place at the Gabba, and now has the opportunity to do something similar at international level. Though always technically sound and mentally strong, Forrest's confidence has lifted noticeably.

"It's just the environment [in Queensland], everyone's so happy around here and they're good blokes," Forrest said. "Boof [Darren Lehmann, Bulls coach] has been a major contributing factor, he's been really good not only for the group but me personally and my batting. It just fills you with confidence as well, and when you're confident as a batsman you go out and play the way you want to play.

"I think I am [a better player] now, I've made a few technical changes that have helped this year, but also it is just confidence and knowing you're going to play every game. Playing every game allows you to learn and learning [while] playing first-class cricket is invaluable, so I'd say that's probably the secret at the moment."

At the time of his selection, Forrest's modest domestic limited-overs numbers were trotted out, but he rightly observed that his primary opportunities have so far come in the Sheffield Shield, while the more recent Twenty20 Big Bash League had shown he did not lack for shots.

"I've just had more opportunity in the first-class stuff," he said. "I had limited opportunities in the one-day stuff with NSW and I don't think I played as well as I could in those games, so I like to think I can play all forms of the game. I think the Big Bash League was really good for me this year, allowed me to express myself a little bit and show that I can play the shorter forms."

As for first impressions of the Australian dressing room, Forrest felt welcomed, and was given plenty of strong and positive feedback from the captain Michael Clarke and the coach Mickey Arthur once his first match was completed.

"I felt like my first day of school really when I walked in with Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke and all these superstars around me," Forrest said. "But they're really good - you realise they are good people and real good blokes; they make sure they look after young guys, so I felt right at home after the first five minutes."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Natx on February 16, 2012, 3:11 GMT

    I like this guy's composure at the crease and the way he uses his feet. Looks bit like Clarke when he came in. I can only see him getting better by playing more international games. Seems like he got in to ODI's at the right time. 8-12 months in, with some good scores to showcase, he can put his case for a test match birth. Early days but looks a better test prospect to me than Shaun Marsh and Phil Hughes.

  • dummy4fb on February 15, 2012, 17:39 GMT

    Yet another article going gaga over one match wonders. Let him score consistently both at home and abroad and then we can talk about Forest being the next new Aussie sensation.

  • csowmi7 on February 15, 2012, 7:30 GMT

    forrest looked excellent against the indian spinners but looked a little out of sorts against the bouncers from yadav. Who better to learn about the art of pulling and hooking than from ricky ponting. Overall looks like a very calm and composed individual. Certainly one for the future.

  • zenboomerang on February 15, 2012, 5:32 GMT

    Good to see the selectors looking at different players & Forrest has shown some grit which is needed in the middle order... Didn't look comfortable with some of the bowling & bouncer pace bowlers may show him up... Still only 1 game so time will tell... Hope he gets runs for the rest of the series & makes some of the non-performers(Ponting, Warner) feel under pressure as they are not producing the results we need as a team...

  • Meety on February 14, 2012, 23:38 GMT

    @Gordo85 - great, now the NSW conspiracy theory involves players who left NSW!

  • chicko1983 on February 14, 2012, 22:16 GMT

    @ RandyOz: Usi had his chance, more than enough chances as well. He is a great player but could not convert his starts into half centuries, let alone centuries. Forrest reminds me of Jono Trott with his technique and demeanor. Hope he becomes just as reliable.

  • RandyOZ on February 14, 2012, 16:28 GMT

    Come from nowhere but I agree Khawaja should be chosen before him. Khawaja is clearly a confidence player and needs an extended stint in the team to prove himself, ala Darren Bravo.

  • Gordo85 on February 14, 2012, 11:39 GMT

    Forrest so far even though he has started off well needs to keep doing well in order to make it to the West Indies. Players from NSW or who used to play for them just make the team with ease yet all the other players who are around don't get a mention nationaly regardless of how well they are doing domesticly.

  • dummy4fb on February 14, 2012, 11:35 GMT

    great effort in first ever innings for australia, an interesting pros pect for tests as well.

  • msaurav on February 13, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    i like his technique . But he got some problem with the short bowl. Not so comfortable in hooking or pulling.Gud luck

  • No featured comments at the moment.