Graham Allan Manou
April 23, 1979, Modbury, South Australia
Right hand Bat
After years as a reliable domestic performer, the wicketkeeper Graham Manou surged in 2008-09 to win the recognition of the national selectors who rewarded him with a contract and the role of Ashes understudy to Brad Haddin. Incredibly, Manou replaced Haddin just moments before the Edgbaston Test when Haddin broke a finger. It was a memorable, one-off taste. A few months later he was flown in as an emergency replacement for Tim Paine during the ODI series in India and played four ODIs.
Manou's promotion came 10 years after his state debut and was sealed when he raised two Pura Cup centuries in a collection of 647 runs to go with 33 dismissals, staying ahead of Chris Hartley, Matthew Wade and the deposed Luke Ronchi. It was a rise built on hard work and recognition that he needed to mature after being dropped by South Australia two seasons ago. However, at the end of 2009-10, a summer in which he struggled with a knee injury, he was replaced as captain.
In 2007-08 Manou not only overcame the major challenge to fight his way back into South Australia's Pura Cup team, he ended up as captain by the end of it after Nathan Adcock was dumped from the XI. He was the top runscorer by far, with 596 runs at 37.25, playing all ten Pura Cup matches after Shane Deitz was mysteriously overlooked. There were also eight one-day matches and a high score of 50.
Manou, who was then vice-captain, had been dropped the previous year after managing only 16 runs from two games early in the summer. He retained his one-day spot and led the team when Darren Lehmann was injured, but his return was a disappointing 117 runs at 14.62. His unexpected lull came after he was named Lehmann's deputy and he was immediately thrust into the leader's role in 2004-05, when he was a strong performer in a difficult campaign with 433 runs and 36 dismissals. The next year he took his keeping to new levels with a personal-best collection of 42 Pura Cup dismissals and added another 21, including six stumpings, in the ING Cup. That season he narrowly missed a second first-class century when reaching 91 against Tasmania but his batting wasn't as lucrative as in 2003-04, when he collected $50,000 for hitting an ING sign.
After a glittering junior career, he made his first appearance in interstate ranks at senior level in 1999-2000 when he replaced the recently-retired Tim Nielsen to become South Australia's top wicketkeeper. He created a favourable impression with tidy and athletic glovework and his obvious comfort in keeping to all types of bowling. Manou struggled initially with the bat - he registered ducks in four of his opening five innings on the first-class stage - but grew into an important role player and picked up 130 as an opener in 2003-04. Manou's under-age career reached its highest point when he was the Player of the Tournament as his state's captain at the 1997-98 national under-19 carnival in Melbourne.
Cricinfo staff September 2010
Batting & Fielding