Rossington fired up for the Blast


Adam Rossington comes into Essex’ Vitality Blast campaign, which starts on Tuesday evening at home against Gloucestershire, in the form of his life after an outstanding winter of white-ball cricket.

The wicketkeeper-opener played a major part in helping Sunrisers Eastern Cape to the inaugural SA20 title and followed up with an exhilarating stand-in role for Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League.

Rossington top-scored in the South African final with a 30-ball 57, having taken three catches and a stumping in Pretoria Capitals’ innings; it was his second half-century during a tournament in which he scored 246 runs at an average of 27.33. He added a third T20 fifty of the winter – the 15th of his career – when signing off from a week-long stint with the Kings.

“Over the last couple of years I’ve probably not scored as many runs as I’d have liked in the four-day stuff, but I’ve had a good 18 months or so of T20 cricket,” says the 30-year-old Rossington. “Hopefully I can put together a few match-winning contributions for Essex.

“This winter’s been brilliant. The opportunity to play in different conditions with different people has been great. You see how other players go about their businesses and pick little things up here and there.

“You see a few more overseas players you haven’t met before. You’ve played against them now, and sat in team meetings discussing what they do, and that can only help when it comes to the Blast.

“Cricket is a game where the more you play, the more experiences you have; the more different situations you find yourself in, and the more of that you can do when the pressure mounts the better equipped you are to handle them.”

Rossington also hit his stride towards the end of Essex’s 2022 T20 campaign, smashing a career-best 95 in the penultimate group game against Sussex at Hove during a purple patch when he accumulated 165 runs in three innings.

He recalls: “We got on a roll towards the back-end of the season but then just didn’t put in a good enough performance in the quarter-final [against Lancashire Lightning]. That’s something we’ll definitely learn from and if we’re in that position again hopefully we can put it right.”

Anthony McGrath described Rossington’s arrival from Northamptonshire last year as filling the void left at the top of the order since the Blast title win of 2019. The search for someone to replace Cameron Delport and get after the bowlers in the first six overs had become “a bit of a headache”, according to the Head Coach Anthony McGrath.

Rossington is clear what his role is. “It’s to take advantage of the powerplay and then try and go on and get some match-winning scores and take the game away from the opposition.

“I’ve played a fair amount of cricket now so I can also help out Simon Harmer from behind the stumps. Captaincy in the format can be very hard, so if as wicketkeeper I can help by taking care of the angles in the field, give an opinion about what I think the wicket is doing, what the batter is up to, then that information can help both bowler and captain. You tend to have a pretty good view from my position, so I try to use it to help the team in any way I can.”

Rossington, who helped Northants win the Blast back in 2016, has just returned from an enforced one-month break after damaging the middle finger on his left hand during the LV= Insurance County Championship match against Lancashire.

Finger restored to full flexibility, Rossington can also look forward to a contract with London Spirit in The Hundred later in the summer. Not that a franchise-only future is in his thoughts. “It’s nice to be part of them in the wintertime,” he says, “but for the minute I still want to carry on and play my four-day cricket for Essex. I’m really enjoying it. Obviously, there are now opportunities to play all the year round, which I’d love to do, and keep doing. I think all these experiences can only help me improve as a player.”