Nash revels in Joyce union
All teams crave a dependable partnership at the top of the order and there can be few more reliable pairings on the county scene than Sussex’s opening duo.
With ball generally dominating bat in the early weeks of the season, Chris Nash and Ed Joyce have yet to make their mark on the 2012 season, the latter’s 64 against Lancashire at Aigburth representing the only score of note from either batsman.
However, Nash and Joyce can be excused a brief lean patch following their sterling efforts last summer, which saw them excel in first-class and limited-overs cricket.
The experienced pair accumulated a total of 2,197 LV= County Championship runs, while also finishing first and third in the Clydesdale Bank 40 run-charts, Nash contributing 649 to Joyce’s 583.
Reflecting on the success he has enjoyed with his left-handed partner, Nash told ecb.co.uk: “I think it’s something that works well and I think we both have very different strengths.
“We’re both shot-players in different ways. We take on different lengths and if one of us gets off to a flier, which generally happens, it allows the other one just to calm down and get themselves in.”
The chemistry between Nash and Joyce is not solely evident when they bat together.
“We get on well on the pitch and off the pitch, we communicate a lot, talk a lot about the game, we really enjoy batting with each other,” said Nash, who did not get a bat in the rain-ruined draw with West Indies for which Joyce was rested.
“With an opening partnership I think it’s really important to have that - he knows how to push my buttons and I know how to push his.”
Although Nash has struggled in the early weeks of the season, the prospect of returning to 40-over action following this week’s match against Lancashire is likely to provide a confidence boost.
Sussex take on the Unicorns at the PROBIZ County Ground in their opening CB40 fixture, with Nash keen to replicate the form that saw him take the FTI MVP award in last year’s competition.
“I was obviously chuffed to bits with my one-day form last year, but I still saw areas I can improve on,” he added.
“Winning the MVP was nice, but I want to win it again and climb up the MVP table for the whole lot. There’s always room for improvement.”