Glamorgan all-rounder Craig Meschede still has ambitions of playing for England, despite his “out of the blue” call-up to the Germany squad for the upcoming T20 World Cup qualifiers in the Netherlands.
“One of the guys got in touch with me to see if I could help out in any way,” Meschede explained. “I do have German roots and thought it would be a good thing to help out as my Dad is German. As long as it didn’t affect my English qualification, I was happy to do it.”
After a long injury lay-off early season, which Meschede admits was frustrating, his call-up came on the back of some impressive performances for Glamorgan in the Vitality Blast.
“The severity of the injury was quite bad,” he added. “I was out for quite a long time. I tried to stay as positive as possible. I was in the gym quite a bit and then straight into the T20 format which is probably the most difficult to go straight back to. I was in good nick before the injury.”
Meschede struck a career-best 77 not out against Gloucestershire at Cardiff last week. While his 19-ball 43 in the four-wicket victory over Surrey at the Oval was played with freedom, building a 50 partnership with Kiran Carlson, he admits that the situation against Gloucestershire was in stark contrast.
“We kept losing wickets around me! I had to be the anchor of the innings so my role was to stay there as long as possible and be there for the back end of the innings.”
Glamorgan eventually reached 201 for six, with Meschede’s 77 coming from 47 deliveries, and won the match by two runs. “If you can get to 200 then you’re definitely ahead of the game,” he said. “It obviously varies from pitch to pitch in different situations though.”
He puts his run of form down to batting at three. “It’s nice to go at the top of the order, especially batting three. I’ve batted there for Somerset and Glamorgan, and feel like I can play my natural game up the order. I’m relishing it and taking any opportunities I can.”
While Meschede’s promotion up the order was due to captain Colin Ingram’s illness, he says he has no intention of replicating the South African left-hander’s role. “I’m an unstinted player and a natural aggressor. It’d be very difficult [to replicate Ingram] as he’s a world-class player. I’m obviously going to have the same intent in trying to get the team off to a good start.”
As well as allowing the younger players an opportunity to push for a place, Glamorgan’s bad fortune in losing Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja and Joe Burns during the competition has also presented Meschede with a chance to shine. “You’re not going to replicate what they do, but you do your best to fill that position. They’re internationals and phenomenal cricketers.”
Glamorgan are unbeaten in five matches, and sit in third place in the South Group ahead of Hampshire’s visit to Cardiff on Friday. Glamorgan, says Meschede, go into the remainder of the group stage in optimistic mood, as they aim to repeat last year’s run to Finals Day at Edgbaston. “We’re four from four. We’ve got momentum going into the final matches and let’s see if we can pull off the victories and take our place in the quarter-final.”
Article written by Alun Rhys Chivers for the ECB Reporters Network