Moises Henriques, at age 26, became Australia’s 432nd player to wear the Baggy Green when he made his Test debut against India in Chennai in February 2013.He also became the first Portuguese-born player to represent Australia in all forms of the game: T20, ODI and Test cricket.
And what a Test debut it turned to be!
Although Australia lost the match by eight wickets, Henriques finished with a batting average of 149 following a first innings knock of 68 and remaining 81 not out when Australia’s second innings ended. Henriques also took 1/48 in India’s first innings from 17 overs. Moises went on to play in the next two sub-continent Test matches.
He received his call up for the India tour following an excellent Australian domestic first-class season with New South Wales in 2012-2013 – with a batting average of 77 and bowling average of 18.
The following year (2014), Henriques toured South Africa with the Australian team, although he didn’t figure in any of the three Test matches when Clarke’s men won the series 2-0.
Shortly after returning from South Africa, Henriques won man-of-the-match honours in NSW’s 2013-2014 Sheffield Shield final victory over Western Australia.
The three-times Australian Test all-rounder hit a classy 140 off 316 balls at Manuka Oval in Canberra, soaking up 399 minutes in the middle and tiring out the WA players.
His innings took the game away from the Sandgropers and set up NSW’s 46th Sheffield Shield victory and its first since 2008.
Henriques’ maiden one-day century was worth the wait. The Blues captain’s 131 off 112 at North Sydney Oval in October 2014 piloted NSW to a fourth win from four games in the Matador Cup, and opened the door for him to make a serious bid at a place in Australia’s World Cup squad.
The hosts reached the target of 294 set by Victoria with five wickets and seven balls remaining, with Henriques responding to another hundred from the Bushrangers’ Cameron White to steal the show.
Henriques was so young when he first came into the New South Wales squad that he could train only in school holidays and often had to catch a taxi to practice. By the age of 18 he had already won praise from Trevor Hohns, the former national chairman of selectors, and a rookie contract with the NSW Blues.
After starring as captain of Australia’s Under-19 side – he first made the team as a 16-year-old – with 16 World Cup wickets in Sri Lanka at 10.62 and 150 runs at 37.5, Henriques played his second senior game in the final of the 2005-06 ING Cup. As the Blues were heading towards the tightest of victories over South Australia, Henriques, the No. 9, refused to fluster and was unbeaten on five from 21 balls when Stuart MacGill squirted the winning run.
The next season he added another six one-day games but the highlight was playing the opening two Pura Cup matches of the Blues’ campaign. In his second outing he displayed his huge potential with 5-17 from 13 overs against Queensland. Strangely, he was dropped and did not earn another first-class appearance that summer, although he struggled with a shoulder injury. A part-time stint at the Academy followed and in 2007-08 he earned a sprinkling of NSW appointments along with a grade haul of 913 runs and 39 wickets, which helped drive St George to the premiership. More confirmation of his high regard came when he was sent to Darwin as a replacement for Andrew Symonds in the national one-day team. Australia A were on tour, limiting the selectors’ options, and Henriques was told he would play Bangladesh only in “exceptional circumstances”, but it was a tick for a future talent.
A 187cm opening bowler, Henriques is the youngest player to collect 10 wickets in a Sydney first-grade match, and he supplements his skills with fine middle-order strokeplay. In 2009, Moises was selected for Australia for the first time and signed a two year deal with IPL club Kolkata Knight Riders.
Henriques has always been considered one of the brightest prospects on the Australian cricket scene. He has represented Australia in One Day and T20 internationals and has been a member of the NSW Blues Sheffield Shield team for the past eight seasons, including a stint as captain.
Henriques starred in the Sydney Sixers victory over the Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League final in Perth in 2012, with a hurricane 70 off 41 deliveries that earned him man of the match.