Redmond reveals secret to success
Aaron Redmond says the English weather played a hand in helping his preparations for his spectacular innings against Ireland at the ICC World Twenty20.
Redmond’s 63 from only 30 balls provided the impetus needed at the start of an innings which realised 198 for five to get the Black Caps’ Super Eights campaign off to an ideal start with an 83-run win at Trent Bridge.
Five days earlier, Redmond had made a big hundred for Farnworth in a rain-shortened Bolton League match - and 24 hours earlier, he was still oblivious to the fact New Zealand were considering calling him up as a replacement for the ill Jesse Ryder.
Asked whether his 13 fours against Ireland were simply a case of him carrying on where he left off in Lancashire last weekend, he said: “It was a little bit different, but maybe that bit of form I had in that last game brought me through.
“Most of the games (for Farnworth) have been rain-affected, so I’ve only been playing about 30-over cricket in the last few weeks - so I think that has helped.”
Redmond’s 146 for his club was too much for their scorer.
“It was in 80 minutes, but the guy gave up with the balls,” he recalled.
Today, he hit his first two balls for four off Peter Connell and had 30 runs to his name by the end of the second over - all of which came as a shock to spectators who last saw him trying to grind out runs against England in last summer’s Test series.
“I was playing Test cricket and trying to bat time, then coming into this game and actually playing some shots - two complete contrasts,” he added.
“But I’ve felt over the last six months I’ve grown in my own game.
“I’ve had quite a few innings for Otago at the start where I took ages and ages to get 50 runs. But in the last six months, I’ve lost that fear a little bit.
“At the start maybe I was bracketed as a Test player, but maybe now I’ll have a shot at the one-dayers too.”
As for the hectic nature of his call-up, Redmond senses it may well have helped keep any nerves under control.
“I don’t think I had enough time to make any changes, because I only got the call-up yesterday,” he said.
“I was pretty calm. I’ve only had the last 24 hours to realise I’m in a tournament like this - the last couple of weeks, I’ve been watching on TV.”
Redmond’s Otago and New Zealand opening partner Brendon McCullum could barely believe what he had seen.
“We play for the same province back home, and every time we’ve batted together he seems to have scored about one or two,” said the Kiwi captain.
“But today, he took all the initiative. I thought it was fantastic.
“For him to come out and play the way he did, in a different situation from the league cricket he has been playing, I thought he took the game away from them inside about three overs.
“It looked a pretty nervy game for us, but he gave the rest of the side real impetus.”
McCullum was impressed too by Redmond’s presence of mind in making sure he was in this country, should he be required.
“Obviously, it’s a long way to fly someone out from New Zealand in the middle of winter without much cricket under their belt,” he conceded.
“It’s smart play from Aaron coming over here and playing league cricket.”