Ed Barnard is delighted to have made a series of significant contributions with the bat in 2017 but now wants to turn fifties into centuries to help him achieve his goal of moving even further up the order.
The Worcestershire all-rounder was promoted into the number seven position for much of the campaign – before the arrival of Ravichandran Ashwin – and responded with 580 Specsavers County Championship runs at an average of 36.25.
His tally includes five half centuries in 20 innings including a career best 75 in the promotion-clinching finale to the summer against Durham at New Road.
With Barnard also taking 47 Championship wickets, it led to him being voted the Supporters’ Association Player Of The Year and polling 50 per cent of the votes.
On his performance with the bat, Barnard said: “Over the moon. That was one of my big aims this season, to score more runs and make more contributions with the bat.
“I’ve been really happy and hopefully next year I can kick on and score more runs and make more contributions and turn those 60s and 70s into hundreds, which I really want to do, and get up that order.
“Do I want to get into the top five? I’ve just got to let my batting keep doing the talking. I’m not pushing for it.
“I just want to go out there and score as many runs as I can. Hopefully eventually I will score the weight of runs which will allow me to do that.”
Many players have gradually worked their way up the order including current Worcestershire openers Daryl Mitchell and Brett D’Oliveira.
Barnard said: “There is always a natural progression if you score runs and score plenty of them.
“But I’m not looking too far ahead. I’ve been really pleased with this season and hopefully I can kick on again next year.”
Barnard is spending this winter training at New Road and Malvern College after playing grade cricket for Queanbeyan and Scarborough respectively in Australia during two of the last three years.
He said: “Just having that month off is nice. I’ll get to see a few friends and family and just take a bit of time away from it.”