New South Wales cricket coach Steve Rixon wants Pura Cup debutant Nathan Pilon to treat the crucial match against Victoria starting this week as just another day at the office.
Rixon yesterday acknowledged the pressure the St George wicket-keeper would be under when he walked on to the SCG turf on Friday in the four-day match.
Pilon, 24, replaces regular keeper Brad Haddin, who arrived in India on Monday to fill in for the injured Adam Gilchrist in Australia’s three-day match against a Board President’s XI starting yesterday.
But it will be a tough initiation.
The Blues moved to six points behind Pura Cup leaders Queensland and Victoria (28 points) on the Pura Cup table with their outright victory over the Bulls at the SCG on Monday.
NSW will play both these sides in a bid to make the final on March 23 to 27.
Rixon said Pilon, originally from Dubbo, would perform better in the pressure cooker atmosphere of first class cricket if he relaxed.
“The best results come from those who are most relaxed,” Rixon said.
“My emphasis will be on him just going about his job like another day’s play.
“If we start to think of it as anything but another’s day play, it’ll start to build pressure that’s not needed.”
This article first appeared in Hangzhou Night Net.