Fit-again Abbott puts frustrations in the past
Blues bowling allrounder tracking well after hamstring injury and again eyeing that elusive Baggy Green
16 July 2021, 09:59 AM AEST
Test hopeful Sean Abbott has returned to bowling in Sydney and is on track to be fit for the start of the Australian summer after his UK County Championship stint was cut short by a hamstring injury.
Abbott said the injury initially proved something of an emotional battle for him, given it occurred midway through his first match for Surrey, with whom he was also set to play in the T20 Blast.
"It was extremely frustrating," he said. "My physical prep and my physical resilience is something I typically pride myself on, so that one certainly hurt me a bit emotionally, and it was something I had to spend a few days getting my head around.
"Over my career so far I've been quite resilient, and I'd been given this opportunity by (director of cricket) Alec Stewart and (head coach) Vikram Solanki at Surrey and I let them down midway through a four-day game."
The news since however is only positive for Abbott, whose partner Brier is due to have their first child on December 24, at a time when he hopes he will be part of an Ashes squad.
Prior to that, he is well placed to launch into the 2021-22 season at full fitness, having begun his rehab in a windowless room during two weeks of quarantine last month.
"I felt quite claustrophobic for the first day or so, but being jetlagged was great timing to be able to watch the golf that weekend, and get up and watch the Blast in the UK," the 29-year-old said.
"That two weeks sort of flew by in a way, I don't know why … it was a good two weeks to get some rehab done, and by the time I went out, I was ready to do some running sessions.
"I had my first bowl back a few days ago, which was just off three steps.
"I'm on the same schedule as everyone else doing pre-season at the minute and there's no need to rush anything.
"Given the timeline of when I did my hamstring, it was around the eight-week mark to be back playing at full strength, and that was well and truly before the start of the season, so we could really concentrate on some technical things in the gym and with my running, and then a few technical things with my bowling to improve, but I'm well and truly on track for the start of the season."
Abbott was part of Australia's Test squad through the India series last summer and was one of seven quicks selected to tour South Africa in March for what was ultimately a cancelled three-Test series.
To date, his only opportunities for Australia have come in limited-overs cricket (two ODIs, seven T20Is), but with the Ashes a major drawcard and speculation already of a potential rotation policy among the quicks following last summer's series defeat to India, an elusive Baggy Green might be closer than ever.
"I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Test series against India last summer – getting the opportunity to go out and field at the SCG was unbelievable," he added.
"My focus is to keep getting better, keep improving my core skill and putting pressure on those guys that have been playing so well for Australia for a long time.
"There's plenty of guys pushing their cases for the Ashes this year, even before the season starts, but that's definitely a focus for me – to break into those squads and play as much cricket for my country as possible."