Suppiah hails tremendous Trescothick
Arul Suppiah has been an established member of Somerset’s side for the last four years, but admits there are still times when he is left awestruck by the efforts of his opening partner.
Malaysia-born batting all-rounder Suppiah will enjoy a benefit year at Taunton in 2013, having proven a consistent performer since gaining a regular first-team berth at the start of 2009.
The 29-year-old freely concedes, however, that he faces a nigh-on impossible task in trying to emulate the feats of Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick - arguably the most feared batsman in the domestic game.
Trescothick’s 2012 campaign may have been disrupted by injury, but the powerful left-hander was still able to register the 50th and 51st centuries of his first-class career and can be expected to take opposition attacks apart once again next summer.
Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Suppiah said: “I’ve been opening the batting with Marcus for the last four years and I couldn’t have asked for a better opening partner. I’ve learned a lot from him.
“There are days when I go out there and bat and I feel as if I’m playing a totally different game to him. He’s out there smashing it to all parts and I’m trying to get singles here and there.
“He’s a tremendous player, just on a different level from me altogether, and we’ve got a good understanding.
“It’s a two-way communication; he’ll come down and offer his advice and I’ll go to him and offer my advice as well. It can be quite funny how he’ll say ‘I’m not getting this right or this right’ but still be hitting balls for fours and sixes.”
The resourceful Suppiah has averaged 36 with the bat across the last four seasons and is aware that he can not afford to ease up.
Indeed, Somerset’s recent capture of South Africa Test opener Alviro Petersen ensures there will be greater competition for places at Taunton at the start of 2013.
“I like to think that I’ve established myself, but I’m not taking anything for granted,” reasoned Suppiah.
“I’ve still got to work hard - things go wrong when you rest on your laurels.”
Suppiah’s modesty is reflected in his reaction to gaining a benefit year.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all,” he revealed.
“I was back home in Malaysia just spending some time with my family when I got the news. I got a message from the chief (executive, Guy Lavender) saying ‘I need to Skype with you now’ and I was thinking ‘Oh no, what have I done!’
“I set up my Skype thinking I was getting a telling-off and instead I got the great news. I guess I’m part of the furniture here now.”