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Josh Inglis right at home on international stage

West Australian has been on the road for months but wants to keep playing as he eyes his first Test tour to Pakistan

Alex Malcolm
14-Feb-2022
Josh Inglis reverse sweeps on T20I debut, Australia vs Sri Lanka, 1st T20I, Sydney, February 11, 2022

Josh Inglis has so far only played T20s internationally  •  Getty Images

Josh Inglis has looked so at home in his first two games of international cricket that his toughest challenge has been to get on the same page as his new team-mates when running between the wickets.
Inglis top-scored for Australia in their Super Over win over Sri Lanka on Sunday, with 48 off 32 balls. That came after he made 23 from 18 on T20I debut batting at No. 3 on Friday.
The 26-year-old reverse-swept his fourth ball in international cricket for four off the world's No. 1-ranked T20I bowler, Wanindu Hasaranga, and has looked every bit an international cricketer in his two innings so far. He was left frustrated that he couldn't convert last night's 48 into a bigger score to give Australia more to defend.
"I felt pretty good again," Inglis said. "It was a bit of a tough wicket. It wasn't going to be one that you could blast a 60 off 30. It was one you had to sort of hit the gaps, run hard, and just play good cricket shots. I played okay. I'm disappointed to get out when I did. It was probably a couple of hours away from really going hard there at the back end, and it's probably where you get those 180-plus scores. So disappointed with my dismissal but on the whole the way I started my innings I'm pretty happy."
Inglis was involved in two mix-ups, with Glenn Maxwell and Steven Smith. Neither was his fault and neither ended in a wicket. Australia's middle-order partnerships have stalled in the first two matches of the series and Inglis noted they need to gel as quickly as possible.
"Obviously you're starting new relationships with different players," he said. "You've got to build those on the spot and you've got to do it pretty quickly. I think if we're communicating well, it will happen quicker than not. I'm looking forward to that happening in the near future hopefully."
Smith has been ruled out of the rest of the series after suffering concussion while fielding. Moises Henriques looks likely to replace him in the middle-order.
"He's very, very experienced," Inglis said of Henriques. "He's a very good player of spin. We've seen him do it in the IPL as well and a lot of tournaments. He's a very good player. Powerful hitter. And he brings valuable overs as well in the field. So I'm sure if he was to get a go do a very good job."
"It's been a long year for me. It's been tough. I haven't been home in a while and very much looking forward to that. But it's so exciting. I've only just started playing international cricket so absolutely pumped and I'm showing plenty of energy at the minute"
Josh Inglis
Inglis said he was grateful for the opportunity to get a start in the coveted No. 3 position after Western Australia and Perth Scorchers team-mate Mitchell Marsh opted out of the series to have a rest at home in Perth ahead of the tour of Pakistan and the IPL.
Inglis, like Marsh, has hardly spent any time at home since the T20 World Cup because of WA's hard border. Inglis said each player needed to be treated differently depending on their situation, but he was happy to stay on the road and keep playing.
"I think it's very individual," Inglis said. "I think people take it differently. Some blokes have had a break, others haven't. I think you've just got to find a way just to refresh yourself where you can.
"It's been a long year for me. It's been tough. I haven't been home in a while and very much looking forward to that. But it's so exciting. I've only just started playing international cricket so absolutely pumped and I'm showing plenty of energy at the minute."
Inglis is unlikely to get home until after the Pakistan tour where he has been included in his first Test touring squad as the reserve wicketkeeper behind Alex Carey.
"I'm really happy about that," Inglis said. "I think there's three Tests, three ODIs and a T20. So hopefully at some stage, I get my chance to play some games over there."

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo