Cricket Australia Items/news/2013/2/1/henriques-aiming-for-the-top

Henriques aiming for the top

UPDATED 07 February, 2013 3:10PM AEST | by Carly Adno, Omnisport 11

Moises Henriques said he wants to be Australia's number one all-rounder after he was named in the Test squad to tour India in February.

Henriques and Glenn Maxwell are the only two uncapped players in the 17-man squad and with Shane Watson picked as a specialist batsman, Henriques is determined to make the most of his opportunity.

The 25-year-old is the leading run scorer for New South Wales this season with 385 runs at an average of 77 in the Sheffield Shield and he has 14 wickets to his name as well.

"I certainly feel that my game is where I planned it to be, especially in terms of the longer form of the game," Henriques said on Thursday.

"I guess my personal statistics over the last two years have really improved, especially in Shield cricket, and that's something that I really wanted to work on."

Watson has already backed Henriques to become the next first-choice all-rounder in the side and Henriques made no secret of his desire to fill that spot.

"Shane Watson has done a fantastic job as the Australian all-rounder for a couple of years now," Henriques said.

"Obviously with his workload in bowling dropping a little bit over the next couple of months it's a great opportunity for me to show what I've got and to hopefully put my hand up for future opportunities as well.

"Shane Watson's obviously going to keep working at his bowling I'd say in the future, so it's a little window here for me to show everyone what I can do with the bat and ball."

Henriques said a change in his mental game has led to him becoming a better player.

"I think I've become a lot calmer and relaxed in my approach to cricket," he said.

"I've become a lot more balanced off the field, I don't put as much pressure on myself to do well and when I don't do well it doesn't stay with me for the next fixture.

"I think in the past I've been scarred by poor performances or injuries and now I just take it as a game of cricket and, although we do it as a profession, you've got to do it because you love it as well."

Henriques' NSW team-mate Steve Smith was the surprise recall to Australia'a Test squad, despite his less than impressive recent form.

But the all-rounder said he's happy with where his game is at and hopes to get an opportunity in Australia's starting XI.

"I feel I've improved a lot the last couple of years, particularly the last six months," Smith said.

"I'm really happy with the way I've hit the ball all year.

"It's a little disappointing not to have scored a big hundred, but I'm feeling really good at the crease and occupying time there and just improving every day."

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia

First Posted 01 February, 2013 7:50AM AEST

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