Battler Hastings can inspire Jets, says Muchall

John Hastings makes his Durham Jets T20 debut tonight

John Hastings makes his Durham Jets T20 debut tonight

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DURHAM batsman Gordon Muchall has welcomed the arrival of Australian international John Hastings – and believes he may provide the X Factor in the Jets’ search for NatWest T20 Blast glory.

Hastings made his long-awaited bow for Durham in the rain-hit County Championship game against Middlesex this week.

His appearance may have been curtailed by the weather, but he showed enough with a bat (a hard-hitting cameo) and ball (removing Aussie international opener Chris Rogers) to suggest he will be a hit in the English game.

Muchall certainly thinks so, and believes Hastings can take out his Indian Premier League (IPL) frustrations out on Warwickshire Bears and Worcestershire Royals in the Natwest T20 Blast tonight and tomorrow.

On-form batsman Muchall said: “First impressions are that he looks a force.

“From what we have seen, he smacked a few with the bat and then bowled really well with pace and bounce.

“If he keeps going the way he has, he will be a great signing for us.

“I think John had a frustrating time in the IPL – he only played once in eight weeks, I think. He’s delighted to get some cricket under his belt for us.

“He’s a T20 specialist which will help us, but all round he can give us a lift, especially with the way the bowlers have been going down. It gives us a chance to rotate them a bit.”

It’s two games on the road in the next 24 hours for the Jets as they look to build on their good start to the competition.

Having won their opener against Worcestershire three weeks ago, they then lost by a run to Lancashire in a dour clash before beating Nottinghamshire Outlaws in a close finish the next day.

Muchall, who starred with both the bat and in the field in the last two fixtures, added: “We threw that game (Lancashire) away and we should have three wins from three.

“Now it’s back to back games against Warwickshire and Worcestershire. If we can get a couple of wins, it will set us up for the rest of the competition.”