Hampshire batsman Jimmy Adams has passed 10,000 first-class runs in his side’s County Championship draw with Derbyshire. The opener hit 84 and came agonisingly close to a century to mark the milestone, but was out lbw off Mark Foottit’s bowling.
In a game heavily affected by rain, Hampshire were leading by 165 when play stopped, aided by a 117-run stand from Adams and England batsman Michael Carberry, who reached 47.
After the match, however, Adams was keen to focus on Hampshire’s promotion chances rather than his own achievements.
Spending over a decade with the South Coast outfit has seen the 33-year-old enjoy huge success in one-day competitions, particularly in recent seasons. And yet, he told the BBC of the need to transfer that success into the longer form of the game.
Despite having lifted the 2005 Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy, the 2009 Friends Provident Trophy and the FP T20 trophy in 2010, the club now languish in Division Two, where they have been since 2011.
The form and consistency displayed by Adams – made captain in 2012 – has given some hope that this season might be the one where that changes, although Hampshire have reiterated that they will not be casting limited overs cricket aside.
Adams has clearly benefited, too, from playing alongside Michael Carberry, and may have even more opportunities to do this this season after the latter’s dispute with the England management.
Carberry spoke out against Ashley Giles’ treatment of players Down Under, particularly those who went unselected.
While Giles has been overlooked for the position of England head coach, Carberry’s antics may now leave him spending an unanticipated amount of time at the Rose Bowl, rather than at Lord’s.
There has even been talk that Adams might be considered at least for England’s summer one-day fixtures. Although he spent time with England at under-19 level, he has since struggled to catch the eye of ECB selectors.
His age means international cricket might well have passed him by, though he may find some comfort in the likes of former Leicestershire and Kent wicket keeper Paul Nixon, who did not break into the England side properly until his mid to late thirties.
Adams and Carberrys’ opening partnership will prove particularly crucial to Hampshire’s batting order, having lost Dimitri Mascarenhas, who quit the County Championship last season after numerous battles with injury.
Carberry hit his first century of the season in Hampshire’s 8-wicket victory over Gloucestershire, but the early season has been hampered by rain, leading to draws against Worcestershire and now Derbyshire.
Undoubtedly, Adams’ form will be vital if Hampshire are to get their season up-and-running and have a chance of finally returning to the top tier.
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