Russ seeks to grab chance

Andrew Groves spoke to Dean Russ about his own fine season and the emerging Doggies.......

If you had told Dean Russ at the start of the season he’d open the batting against England Lions and face a revved up Lasith Malinga at full pace he would have laughed in your face.

However, when the season comes to an end the Footscray Edgewater skipper can reflect on a dramatic and successful few months.

Russ’s next test will take place next week when he heads to New South Wales with the Victorian Futures squad alongside the up and coming stars of the Premier competition.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity,” he said.

“It’s great to go away, definitely better than work. Hopefully I can get some runs and continue to impress.

“It was surreal playing against England on Monday. Their batting was pretty awesome to put on 335 and it was a good test against their bowlers. I probably shouldn’t comment about the run out, I’d made 34 and was seeing the ball well, it would have been great to kick on and get a big score.

“I never thought I’d be in that situation playing against a team of that calibre. To do it was absolutely brilliant.”

Russ and Marcus Stoinis (57) helped set a platform at the top of the order with a 91-run partnership before Richmond’s Ryan Carters smashed a superb 127 with support from Alex Keath (60) as they pulled through for an astonishing four-wicket win with two balls to spare.

“It was a fantastic run chase,” added Russ.

“It’s always pretty daunting chasing a score over 300 in a one-day game. But it was great the way the guys went about building an innings.

“Sometimes there are a few dot balls and it builds the pressure. But they didn’t panic and we managed to get there, it was amazing.”

On the domestic front Russ has been clocking up the three figures runs, most recently with 108 against a strong Ringwood outfit. Earlier in the campaign he cracked back-to-back centuries.

He’s hoping for more success between now and the end of the season at the Merv Hughes Oval.

His Doggies are hunting vital points which could propel them to a respectable mid-table finish.

On Saturday they travel to reigning Premiers Richmond - a side desperate to avenge their recent defeat to Melbourne University.

“We’ve got two red-hot games coming up,” said Russ.

“It would be great to end the season with 12 points from the next two games. We know Richmond will come out firing, it will be interesting to see what side they will have with the Vic game on the weekend.

"We know when we play our best cricket we can compete with anyone. The Ringwood game showed that when we made 370. Ok we lost the game but we showed we could compete with a side who look destined to finish in the top four.

“We’re primed to give it a good crack and hopefully cause an upset.”

Russ is confident there are some emerging pups at the club who will grow in stature after Premier exposure this season.

“The average age of our bowling is 20-21,” he added.

“Guy Walker is only 17 and is an absolute jet, Hamish Winter-Irving is 19 and bowled really well at the weekend to take four wickets.

“Michael Kelly has been our off spinner, he’s been bowling with a lot of control, there’s also Tallan Wright, who’s 20, Lucas Dredge who is 23. Also people forget about Ben Green because it seems like he’s been around for years. He’s only 23 too.

“It’s great for the future of the club. This season will be a great experience for them, hopefully they can build on that for next year.”

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