Ben McDermott feels he is better prepared to take on the challenges of international cricket after his highly impactful BBL season, and admitted that his earlier stints with Australia were difficult experiences.
McDermott earned a recall for the T20I series against Sri Lanka next month owing to his impressive tally of 577 runs for Hobart Hurricanes and it comes just a few months on from being left out for the T20 World Cup after struggling in West Indies and Bangladesh. Those two tours were miserable for McDermott, who twice picked up niggle and missed the birth of his first child, and he currently averages 13.66 from 17 T20Is, but is now one of the primary contenders to replace the rested David Warner at the top of the order alongside captain Aaron Finch.
The average tours of the Caribbean and Bangladesh ended his chances of being in the World Cup squad but he has come to see that as a benefit in the longer run. It allowed him to play domestic cricket for Tasmania before the BBL, although his Hurricanes campaign did have a delayed start after he edged a delivery into his groin during training and required surgery on a ruptured testicle. Not a pretty experience for any man!
McDermott on being left out of the T20 World Cup squad
“I’ve had a lot of experience through maybe [being selected] prematurely; I don’t think I wasn’t ready to play for Australia but I do feel ready now,” he said after being named the BBL Player of the Tournament. “I feel like I’m on top of my game whereas in previous years I have sort of been in and out through player bans, Covid, all that sort of stuff, that’s how I’ve got my opportunities.
“In a way I was glad I was left out because you saw with a player like Josh Inglis, who took my spot, he went over there and didn’t play a game and missed a lot of the domestic cricket,” McDermott said. “I was very disappointed when I heard I wasn’t going to be part of that squad, that would have been awesome to experience, but at the same time, think I developed a lot this summer and through that West Indies and Bangladesh series.
“It doesn’t hurt you to have that extra string to the bow,” he said. “I’ve been working hard at it, I really enjoy wicketkeeping when I do get the opportunity. I’ll definitely be working hard on it and keep doing it for the Hurricanes if I get the opportunity.”
Lastly, McDermott is also hoping that his BBL success might get him bidders at the IPL mega auction coming up on February 12 and 13. “If I don’t get picked up this year not sure when I will,” he said. “There’s not too much I can do now, it’s all up to those people in charge.”