News Analysis

Marcus Harris and Michael Neser fly the flag for Australians in county cricket

While some have produced impressive displays, for others it has been a forgettable few weeks

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Peter Handscomb has found runs difficult to come by for Middlesex  •  Getty Images

Peter Handscomb has found runs difficult to come by for Middlesex  •  Getty Images

The County Championship now takes a break for a month as the T20 Blast takes over the domestic scene, so here's a recap of how the Australians have go so far

Sean Abbott (Surrey)

Matches: 1; Runs: 40 | Wickets: 2
Abbott had his season ended after one game when he suffered a hamstring injury against Gloucestershire on debut. The main part of his deal was due to be the T20 Blast - a last chance for him to push his claims for the T20 World Cup - but instead he now faces a lengthy rehab ahead of the Australian summer.

Cameron Bancroft (Durham)

Matches: 3; Runs: 125; Average: 31.75
Bancroft has made some headlines in the early stages of his return to Durham, but they were around his comments on the Newlands ball-tampering scandal rather than his deeds in the middle. He got himself set a few times in the three matches he played in without converting into a substantial score, although he was unbeaten on 46 in the 10-wicket victory against Worcestershire.

Peter Handscomb (Middlesex)

Matches: 6; Runs: 192; Average: 17.45
It has been a tough opening to the season for Handscomb, who has struggled to make an impact with the bat while his team are stranded a distant bottom of their group in the Championship. In admittedly some tricky conditions, Handscomb had his game picked apart by a series of pace bowlers - although it should be noted he received excellent deliveries from Kyle Abbott and Kemar Roach before he was able to break free with 70 against Surrey.

Marcus Harris (Leicestershire)

Matches: 6; Runs: 557; Average: 61.88
Harris has been the runaway leader in the Australian batting stakes so far with a superb contribution for Leicestershire that has included three centuries. In an interesting adjustment to his usual position of opening, Harris has moved to No. 3. He made 185 in a huge chase against Middlesex (to put one over his Victoria captain, Handscomb) and followed that with 148 against Gloucestershire as Leicestershire notched impressive back-to-back victories, having not won any of their first six games. For a player who is actually a Test incumbent having faced India in Brisbane, it has been a very handy return.

Travis Head (Sussex)

Matches: 4; Runs: 70; Average: 10.00
It has been a miserable start for Head, who came into this season looking to build on his prolific form for South Australia and push his name back into the Test plans having lost his spot against India and then his central contract last month. A top score of 20 in seven innings has left him with plenty to do when Championship cricket resumes.

Marnus Labuschagne (Glamorgan)

Matches: 5; Runs: 151; Average: 25.16
Labuschagne has been brought back to mere mortal status as he confronted challenges against the seam and swing on offer - an early pre-Ashes duel with James Anderson went the England quick's way and Darren Stevens sent social media ablaze by nabbing him lbw. However, in an interview with the Times he talked about how he has enjoyed every moment and already feels it has made him a better player. In the last round before switching formats things started to click as he made 107 runs in a low-scoring match against Lancashire - contributions which were vital to a significant Glamorgan victory.

Ben McDermott (Derbyshire)

Matches: 2; Runs: 49; Average: 12.25
The main part of McDermott's deal had been for a white-ball cricket but he has been able to slot in a couple of four-day games, albeit with slim returns.

Michael Neser (Glamorgan)

Matches: 4; Wickets: 19; Average: 14.89
Unsurprisingly, Neser has produced some fine numbers for Glamorgan, having the impact with the Duke ball that many thought he would. There was a five-wicket haul against Yorkshire and then seven in the match in the victory over Lancashire. However, for Neser there is little he has to prove about his credentials in terms of higher honours - it's a case of whether there will ever be room for him in the Test XI.

Peter Siddle (Essex)

Matches: 6; Wickets: 20; Average: 24.40
Continues to do what he has for so long, delivering consistent performances for whichever team he is playing for. His overall haul is dwarfed by Simon Harmer (38 wickets) and Sam Cook (32) but he has more than played his part. After a slow start where he claimed four wickets in his first three matches, he has since taken 16 in three games. The 6 for 38 against Warwickshire is the standout return, although arguably the six wickets against Durham had a bigger impact as they helped secure a victory.

Billy Stanlake (Derbyshire)

Matches: 1; Wickets: 2
Like Abbott, Stanlake's campaign did not extend beyond his first match when he was diagnosed with a stress fracture of his back. It had been a difficult initial outing against Essex - his first first-class match in more than a year - as he went at more than five an over and sent down seven no-balls.

Daniel Worrall (Gloucestershire)

Matches: 6; Wickets: 16; Average: 28.75
It has been a solid return for Worrall, certainly more fruitful than the back-breaking Sheffield Shield campaign for South Australia. A five-wicket haul against Leicestershire was the best performance, and he has chipped in around that without blowing any opposition away.

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo