Brett D’Oliveira is enjoying his most prolific season in the Specsavers County Championship after moving past the 800 run mark despite having to cope with a shoulder problem which he says has had to be managed for a sizeable percentage of the season.
The Worcestershire opener completed his third Championship century of the season during the current match with Leicestershire at New Road.
In the process he surpassed his previous campaign total of 763 Championship runs at an average of 31.79 which earned him an England Lions call-up.
D’Oliveira is looking more and more the assured opener Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes hoped he would become after moving him to the top of the order at the end of the 2015 campaign.
The 25-year-old certainly has a good conversion rate when it comes to turning fifties in centuries
Of 11 Championship scores of 50 or over, six of them have been transferred into three figures.
D’Oiveira also admits to reaping the benefits of playing alongside the vastly experienced Daryl Mitchell who himself has passed 1,100 runs with six centuries in 2017.
D’Oliveira said: “I didn’t know I had got over 800 runs and I’m very pleased with that.
“But it’s about trying to score as many runs as you can out in the middle and then hopefully everything comes together at the end of the season.
“The shoulder is still sore but we’ve got a good physio (Ben Davies) and Strengthening and Conditioning coach (Ross Dewar).
“They’ve been working their magic and so far it has been okay.
“I’ve been carrying it a little bit all season but I had a proper knock on it a couple of weeks ago and it set me back a little bit.
“It’s getting better so we will see how we go. Diving around when fielding is tough and bowling is a bit tougher as well at the moment.
“But I’m sure I’ll get there by the last game of the season.”
Mitchell has been an important infuence for D’Oliveira through the ups and downs of a role which Second Eleven Coach Kevin Sharp initially gave him his chance in three years ago.
He said: “It has been really good to bat with Daryl as a very experienced opener and cricketer and to spend time in the middle with him can only be of benefit.
“He has helped me through the tough periods and got me through the other end.”
Worcestershire are well placed to seal a fifth promotion under Rhodes but D’Oliveira insists there is still much work to be done before any celebrations can begin.
He said: “I’m sure we can push for that promotion spot and we will be trying our hardest. We’ve got to take each day as it comes.
“Have we enough points in the bag already? I don’t think so. I don’t think we can look at it like that.
“We need to try and win every game we can – especially the last one here against Durham in a couple of weeks.”