Hobart Hurricanes batsman Ben McDermott has conceded last summer was the “trickiest period” of his professional career to date.
McDermott made his debut for Australia in October 2018, but struggled to replicate his impressive domestic form on the international stage, scoring 98 runs in 12 T20 matches.
Following a handful of appearances for Australia, McDermott was named captain of the Hurricanes for six matches during the 2019/20 Big Bash League.
While also serving as a wicketkeeper when Matthew Wade was on international duty, the 26-year-old only managed one fifty in 14 innings during the tournament.
Following Hobart’s convincing six-wicket victory over the Melbourne Renegades at Blundstone Arena on Saturday afternoon, McDermott admitted the dual role of skipper and gloveman “was a bit much”.
“I was sort of fringing on the Australian duties, trying to play that middle-order role for the Hurricanes when I think I play my best at the top of the order,” McDermott told reporters.
“It was my first year of wicketkeeping as well, and throw the captaincy on that, it was a bit too much for me.
“But this year it’s back to the top, which is nice, and keeping feels good. It’s just a clear sort of headspace to be in.”
McDermott plundered a match-winning 89 not out from 55 balls on Saturday, his classy knock featuring seven boundaries and five sixes.
Despite only playing two BBL matches to date, he is currently the tournament’s second-highest run-scorer with 135 runs.
McDermott brought up a century during Australia A’s recent tour match against India at the SCG, continuing his stellar form in the game’s longest format.
The Tasmanian batsman has scored 462 runs in first-class cricket this summer, averaging 66 with that bat since October.