McDermott stakes T20 WC claim: Hussey

Laine Clark |

Ben McDermott has taken his BBL tally to 457 runs at an average of 65.28 after just eight games.
Ben McDermott has taken his BBL tally to 457 runs at an average of 65.28 after just eight games.

Former Test batsman Mike Hussey says leading Big Bash League run scorer Ben McDermott has already done enough to be picked in Australia’s 2022 Twenty20 World Cup squad.

Hussey was gushing after McDermott thrashed a 61-ball 93 to help Hobart Hurricanes cruise to an eight-wicket BBL win over a depleted Brisbane Heat at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Big hitting opener McDermott, 27, looked set to become the first player to notch four BBL career tons – and a third this season – after showing no mercy to a COVID-19 hit Brisbane.

The Hurricanes run machine fell agonisingly short when he was caught at midwicket going for yet another boundary before Hobart reeled in their target of 145 with 16 balls to spare.

McDermott hit 10 fours and two sixes, dominating a 117-run second wicket partnership with stand-in skipper Peter Handscomb (27 not out off 33 balls) as fourth-placed Hobart snapped a two-game losing run.

Hussey said McDermott should not only be in the Australian squad for the T20 World Cup in late 2022 but was also putting pressure on incumbent openers David Warner and skipper Aaron Finch.

“I am not willing to be retiring Aaron Finch or David Warner any time soon…but Ben McDermott is putting forward a pretty good case,” he told Fox Cricket.

“There’s a tough decision to make. But he’s got to be in the squad. Once he gets going he is almost impossible to bowl to.”

McDermott took his BBL season tally to 457 at 65.28 after just eight games – more than 100 runs more than his nearest rival, Perth’s Colin Munro (353 in 10 games).

He has played 17 T20 internationals but failed to fire to date, averaging 13.66 with the bat.

But former England skipper Michael Vaughan believes McDermott should be given another shot at the T20 World Cup.

“He is a fine player but over the next few years I think he can get even better,” said Vaughan.

“He is so difficult for the bowlers and captains to set fields for. You can pretty much get hit for a six off every type of delivery.”

McDermott didn’t have it all his own way after being dropped on 51 off lively debutant spinner Patrick Dooley (0-25 off four overs), one of a raft of replacements called up by Brisbane after 12 players tested positive for COVID-19 during the week.

Still, Hobart made short work of a new-look Heat despite being without skipper Matthew Wade, who is sitting out the BBL indefinitely for personal reasons.

Hobart will next face Sydney Thunder at the MCG on Monday, starting three double-headers in Victoria being held to make up for games lost through COVID-19 outbreaks.