Sunday 6 January 2008 

Dan Redfern: We Are One Of The Favourites...

Derbyshire and England Under-19 all-rounder Dan Redfern spoke to Cricket World when the ECB NatWest CricketForce travelled to Kirby Muxloe to help build a new pavilion. Having made his first-class debut for Derbyshire in the 2007 season, Redfern is currently preparing, along with his team-mates for the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia in February.

Cricket World: How are preparations going for the World Cup?

Dan Redfern: Good, we have got together a few times at Loughborough and having a few training sessions together but mainly practising with our counties. We have also worked with the coaches to make sure that techniques and game plans are all sorted. We have had a few team-building get-togethers and I think that we are all ready to go and head out there.

Are you confident heading out there?

Yes, the team we have got now is very balanced with everyone able to win a game. And when you can think like that, you have to be confident that you can come back with the World Cup. Any team who goes to the World Cup can win it so, we have to back ourselves to too have a good World Cup and as we are one of the favourites it shows that we can win the World Cup.

Where do you think this team has its strengths?

I think all-round. We have match winners all-round the team with our seamers and spin bowlers who can tie games up. Our batsman also can win the matches by scoring their valuable runs and we do bat all the way down the order, going really low. So everyone can contribute with the bat but we also have part time bowlers who can contribute with the ball as well. Everyone has a good opportunity and a chance to help contribute to the team. Match-winning performances will help us win the World Cup.

What is your role in the team?

I am a middle order batsman who will usually come in against spin during the middle of the innings where I will try and keep the board ticking over. I also bowl occasional off spin, so if needed I could hopefully come in and get a breakthrough if they are not happening.

As a spinner yourself do you feel more comfortable playing spin?

My general strength is against pace. I have grown up opening the batting so really I have faced a lot more pace than spin. I have been working on playing spin quite a lot as I felt that it was my weakness so I have been working on it over this winter. Over the winter I have been working a lot with John Morris to try and combat that. Really I am more confident facing pace early on in my innings but now I feel that due to working on spin I will be just as confident coming in against spin.

Who do you see as your main rivals at the World Cup?

Well we played against Pakistan in the summer in a few one-day internationals, won one and lost one, so really they are the ones we would like to get some revenge over by beating them. India I hear are one of the big teams and obviously the Aussies are a team that we really want to beat. Firstly I think we will focus on making it through the group stage of Ireland, Bangladesh and Bermuda. So if we can win all of them, then it stands us in good shape for the knock-out stages.

Do you think that the game against Bangladesh is the must win game in the group?

All three games are important obviously, we still can’t afford to slip up against Ireland and Bermuda so we have to play hard against them and win. But yes, Bangladesh is the crunch game in the group, so if we can finish ahead of them then we can get an easier root from then on.

It’s a different set-up I know, but Tamim Iqbal, who is part of the Bangladesh Under 19s squad actually made his test debut over night so it’s a bit of an eye opener isn’t it?

It just makes you think how close you are to playing for England or any country really from the Under-19s. It really isn’t that far away, people are making their Test debuts younger at around 20-21 so it really is only a couple of years away, so that might be us in a few years.

Looking ahead to the county season with Derbyshire, What is your aim for 2008?

Well I think I will start in the seconds. John Morris has told me that I will have opportunities, so again like last year I really want to be in the first team again by mid-season, and hopefully score enough runs to put my name forward for a permanent place. I have been told to concentrate on just batting for long periods and the runs will come with this. In order to make sure that I put my name forward for a first team place with Derbyshire, I need to turn 30’s, 40’s, 50’s into 100’s, 120’s and 130’s. Making sure that I am converting starts into big ones is the best way to put my name forward.

Are you excited by the arrival of the likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Rikki Clarke and Wavell Hinds?

Yes, Mahela Jayawardene is in the top three batsmen in the world so I can learn off him. Also the likes of Rikki Clarke have experience at international level so they are great to have around the club. It just shows that Derbyshire are going forwards and attracting bigger players which can also influence me and make me a better player, but more importantly making Derbyshire a more successful county.

Finally, who have been your role models when growing up and playing cricket?

People like Brian Lara, who has that amount of natural ability. By just watching on the television you can learn so much from them. Dave Houghton has been my coach for the last three years. He was a great player for Zimbabwe and has been a great coach. He was the person who really moulded my technique and helped me find my style of batting. Unfortunately I don’t get that much coaching off him apart from at the National Academy but what he has told me will stay with me for a very long time.

© Cricket World 2008
John Pennington/Pierce Morley Barnes