Voges making a name
for himself at Trent Bridge

Comment and Analysis | 15th April 2011

It's a measure of the way Adam Voges has gradually earned the respect and appreciation of the Trent Bridge members that he's now no longer simply referred to as 'David Hussey's replacement'.

There's no doubt that filling the boots of his fellow Western Australian on first arriving at Notts proved a daunting and seemingly impossible challenge at a point when comparisons were unfair, but inevitable.

Indeed, in that first season that Voges donned the green and gold, back in 2008, he averaged 34.37 in County Championship cricket – hardly the kind of figures you would expect from an overseas player.

But his one-day performances were more in keeping with the talent the right-hander possesses and director of cricket Mick Newell was canny enough to give Voges another chance.

The now 31-year-old responded emphatically in 2009, with 697 runs in the ten innings he played in competitive four-day cricket at the mammoth average of 77.44.

But the contribution that saw Voges really taken to the hearts of the county's public was his innings at Lancashire last September that was so crucial to Notts winning the 2010 title.

Brought over for the final three games of the campaign, he hit a brilliant 126 at Old Trafford to help his team claim the bonus points they needed for top spot.

Once upon a time there were concerns if Hussey was only available for part of the season, but those have dissipated now Voges has truly found his feet in Nottingham.

The fact both of them will share the overseas duties for Notts in 2011 is something that will have all regulars to Trent Bridge licking their lips in anticipation.

That will include a spell when both turn out for the team at the same time during the T20 competition.

"They were always going to be big shoes to fill when I first came in for Huss, because you look at his record for Notts and it is just unbelievable," said Voges.

"I probably did feel the pressure of that in my first season, but then it was no more than the pressure I always put on myself anyway.

"If you take the performances I have put in over the last couple of seasons, then I have done pretty well and scored a decent amount of runs.

"The good thing is now I know I have been able to do it in the past and know that I can do it again.

"It will be nice that we are both here together at the same time in T20, because it's not very often we play together.

"We played under-age cricket together in Perth but we have always seemed to be on different teams since then or he has been at Notts when I haven't and vice versa.

"It will be interesting to see what we can do if we get the chance to bat together."

In his first game after stepping off the plane, Voges settled straight back in with 165 from 180 balls for Notts in their final friendly against Oxford University.

But the right-hander knows things will get altogether tougher when the action begins for real.

"I've had a good winter with Western Australia and finished well for them with a hundred and a 97 in my last two games," said Voges.

"I feel like I am hitting the ball pretty well. It's great to be back and to get some runs on the board straight away was great.

"It was a fast outfield and a good wicket, but time in the middle is always valuable.

"No doubt about it, it's going to be hard against Hampshire, because we all know the ball does a bit here early season.

"Only time will tell if it will benefit them having already started their Championship campaign but I feel we have prepared well and are ready."

Voges, an Australia one-day and T20 international, has been impressed with some of the English batting talent in the Notts ranks and believes they should be looking to push for top level honours themselves.

Samit Patel – who has already featured in England's limited over side – and Alex Hales are two who he feels could push their individual cases hard this summer with a succession of hefty scores.

"They are two very talented guys who at the top of their game should be pushing to play at the next level," said Voges.

"It is just now about performing consistently because that is what gets you noticed.

"It can be more difficult to score runs at Trent Bridge than some other places, but I think they take that into account and if you can get runs here they are even more valued."

Having seen Australia outplayed in the Ashes to lose 3-1 to England, Voges is expecting plenty of stick from his Notts team-mates, particularly the likes of Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad, who were involved in that series.

Voges said: "It was pretty disappointing to see the way England beat us in our own back yard, but you have to say they deserved it.

"The England lads in our squad have been pretty quiet so far, but I know it will be coming at some point!"

Still, Voges will no doubt put up with a bit of ribbing if it aids Notts' quest for more silverware in the coming summer.

Matt Halfpenny is the Midlands Sports Journalist of the year and follows Nottinghamshire for the Nottingham Post.

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