Frankston Peninsula batsman finds his gears in fast start to the season
By Simon McEvoy
Frankston Standard Leader
December 3, 2017
LIKE one of his flashing cover drives, Liam Tonkin has emerged quickly this season.
The Frankston Peninsula top-order batsman-wicketkeeper scored his maiden century in round 2 — 101 off 102 balls — and has also had scores of 56, 74, 34, 27no, 66 and 37.
The man who used to play every shot in the book has suddenly become a more rounded player, and if his form continues higher honours could come his way.
“There’s a bit of talk about that at the club but to be honest I haven’t given it much thought,’’ Tonkin said.
“I don’t even know if the (state) selectors know that I’m going about my cricket the right way at the moment. I’m trying to take it week by week. I rock up to training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I do my own thing on Wednesdays. Hopefully it keeps going.’’
As Tonkin’s form has soared, so too has the Heat.
Frankston Peninsula, with six wins, is enjoying its best start to a season in years.
Despite his tender years, 22-year-old Tonkin has been around the Premier Cricket scene for a while. He made his First XI debut at 16, with Kingston Hawthorn, in 2011-12. Ironically it was against Frankston Peninsula.
Two years later, searching for more opportunities, he joined the Heat.
But after playing the opening four games in Frankston’s ones, he was dropped to the seconds and that’s where he stayed for three years as his form fluctuated.
This season has been different, though.
Tonkin became a dad in July and he says a settled life off the field with partner Georgia and son Brody has benefitted his cricket.
“I’ve matured a lot outside of cricket,’’ he said.
Tonkin says he’s working hard on his wicketkeeping, while keeping batting simple.
“Every single ball, as the bowler is coming in, I’m thinking to myself, ‘just watch the ball, play to your strengths’,’’ he said.
“In the past few seasons I’ve been trying to play every single shot in the book. I’m keeping it simple this year, sticking to three shots: straight drive, cover drive and pretty much the hook or pull shot. Just trying to keep it as simple as I can. And doing the right thing by my teammates, trying to bat as long as I can and make as many runs as I can.’’
Tonkin opened the batting in the Twenty20 games with ex-international John Hastings and says he learnt plenty from him.
Frankston Peninsula coach Keith Jansz first coached Tonkin as a 14-year-old and says he’s noticed a big change in him this season.
“Hopefully this is a breakout season for him,’’ Jansz said.