Nicholas Richard Trail Gubbins
December 31, 1993, Richmond, Surrey
Left hand bat
Top order batter
Radley College; Leeds University
Nick Gubbins' heavy run-scoring was instrumental in Middlesex's 2016 Championship triumph. At 22, he hit 1,409 first-class runs at an average of 61.26 as Middlesex took the title for the first time in 23 years, showing a sound technique and the most enviable of temperaments.
England Lions opportunities followed. But as Middlesex suffered a shock relegation the following summer, Gubbins was one of many whose form deteriorated. When Nasser Hussain proposed him as a solution to England's top-order problems, a hamstring injury meant that there would not be too much study of an average in the mid-20s.
Two hundreds in the North v South Series in the Caribbean meant that he approached 2018 with confidence but he suffered further hamstring trouble and made only one hundred in his nine Championship matches to miss the chance to press for England recognition at a time when they were crying out for reliable top-order batsmen.
A lean Lions tour to the UAE in late 2018 was followed by a horror show in the following Championship season, with an average in the low 20s despite a successful 50-over season. By this point in his mid-20s, Gubbins appeared to be treading water, but hundreds against Surrey at The Oval in the Bob Willis Trophy and the 2021 Championship reflected a player of high calibre.
Gubbins, a compact left-hander, has gradually broadened his game since making his debut in 2014. He struck four Championship hundreds, including a career-best unbeaten 201 against Lancashire on the sort of unresponsive Lord's pitch that made the title win so creditable. England considered him for the Test party to Bangladesh and India but their surfeit of left-handers was not in his favour and instead he joined up with England Lions. instead.
He made an outstanding start to his Championship career, with three half-centuries in his first four innings in 2014. His game, initially, was built on accumulation rather than domination, but his ability to strike the ball cleanly contributed to a successful Royal London Cup campaign in 2015 which included a maiden Middlesex century against Sussex at Hove, brought up with a six over midwicket. He can expect plenty of comparisons with another left-handed Middlesex opener from Radley College - Andrew Strauss.
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