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Dalton strumming a path to success

South Australia’s newest opening batsman John Dalton has followed in the footsteps of heroes Darren Lehmann and Mark Cosgrove and looks just as comfortable in the great baggy red.

The fresh-faced 20-year-old from Kensington District Cricket Club has had nothing short of a scintillating year, finishing the Grade Cricket season with 869 runs at an average of 86.90 from his 12 matches.

His ‘Bradmanesque’ form could no longer be ignored by selectors when he struck a century in both innings against Victoria in a Futures League match prior to the final round of the Sheffield Shield.

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“One big thing that I’ve tried to do this season is to keep it as simple as I can and I’ve actually picked up a little pre-movement and saying, ‘watch the ball’, and I get a bit angry at myself when the bowler runs in which has helped massively,” he said.

And he didn’t disappoint when he was presented cap #631 by Jamie Siddons in Hobart, digging in for a defiant 40 off 99 in the first innings and a confident 71 in the second to successfully anchor the match for the final-destined Redbacks.

Dalton’s maiden first-class 50 all but cemented his position in the side for the Sheffield Shield final in Alice Springs and while dismissed for a duck by a James Pattinson thunderbolt, he dug deep against the experienced Victorian outfit to register a respectable 32 in the second innings.

Moving from the Northern Suburbs of Adelaide to St Peter’s College on a cricket scholarship, Dalton was noticed at Kensington under the guidance of his father Steve and Browns captain, Jake Brown.

Composed at the crease, Dalton credits Stephen Schwerdt’s fitness regime for helping him stay out in the middle for longer since signing his first rookie contract at the beginning of the season.

“In the past I’ve gotten to 50, 60 and 70 and I’ve been absolutely knackered and it’s part of the reason I’d been getting out.

“But after training with Schwerdty and the boys since June I didn’t expect it to be as hard as what it was, but it’s helped me feel comfortable with my fitness levels and ready to push on even further.”

Besides his dad always displaying a love for music, Dalton is a self-taught guitarist, relying on five or six years of YouTube tutorials to teach him how to play.

It is not surprising that the self-proclaimed John Mayer fan was able to learn so seamlessly; striking each chord just as naturally as his strokeplay out in the middle to stake his claim as a genuine star for the future.

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