NATHAN Murphy might just be the most efficient cricketer in the Warrnambool and District Cricket Association at the moment.
The veteran all-rounder is - in the words of North Warrnambool Eels skipper Nick Butters and Brierly-Christ Church coach Lachi Rooke - hitting the ball as well as he ever has.
His statistical output is also eye-catching without being out-of-this-world. Averaging 38.3 with the bat and 15.9 with the ball, Murphy is playing a valuable role in all facets of the game.
Is it too early to suggest Murphy is a candidate for cricketer of the year? A realist would probably say yes - based on the fact just five regular-season games have actually been played - but an optimist would probably argue otherwise.
We just need more guys to (go along with him). He's been leading from the front like he has been for however many years at Brierly.- Lachi Rooke
Cricketer of the year contenders are typically all-rounders, based on the fact they can accumulate votes through wickets if batting doesn't to plan and vice-versa.
Murphy fits that bill. The downside, one could argue, might be that he's been playing in a side that is currently second-last with just one win to its name.
Could that be an advantage, on the other hand? Potentially.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Rooke said Murphy was in brilliant form.
"Nath's had a great start to the year with both bat and ball," he said.
"We just need more guys to (go along with him). He's been leading from the front like he has been for however many years at Brierly.
"We know he's a quality player so we just need more guys to step up around him and we did that (a week or so ago in the Twenty20 rounds)."
Rooke said Murphy and his brother, Mark, were a dangerous opening partnership in short-form cricket.
"They've been doing that for a long time and you know there's something different about them opening the batting together. I just think they work so well together and it just works well for them," he said.
"We know it's not going to come off sometimes but it's a dangerous combination to have up the top and we're lucky to have them."
Murphy's a team player and one who almost certainly would relish team success. But cricket, and particularly one-day cricket, is the sort of game which can turn on its head when one or two players lead the charge.
His form will be instrumental to the Bulls climbing off the bottom of the ladder in the second-half of the year. Will it happen?
There's too much class in that side to languish second-last as became apparent with West Warrnambool, which was in a similar position this past season.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.