Moises 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 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 5 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 for 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 state 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.
His progress continued in February 2009 when he was called into the Twenty20 side to play New Zealand: he was run-out for 1 and didn't bowl. The elevation came despite an inconsistent summer at state level and by the end of the season he had been dropped from the Sheffield Shield side. In seven games he had 327 runs, with a high of 55, and eight wickets. His bowling was more effective in the FR Cup - he finished second on the Blues list with 10 - but the struggle for runs continued in the limited-overs competitions. A contract of up to US$300,000 with IPL side Kolkata helped ease the pain.
He was back in India late in 2009 when Australia's injury-hit limited-overs squad needed reinforcements. Given two games, he took a wicket and scored 18 runs, but didn't back up with a strong domestic season. While he was briefly captain in the Shield, he was playing 2nd XI when called into the national Twenty20 squad. At the end of the summer he had averaged 30 with bat and ball in four first-class appearances.
A 187cm opening bowler, Henriques is the youngest player to collect ten wickets in a Sydney first-grade match, and supplements his skills with fine middle-order strokeplay. "Moises is a genuine allrounder who would be selected in sides for his bowling or his batting alone," Hohns said in 2004. "He is an outstanding prospect and certainly has a bright future." Born on the Portuguese island of Madeira, Henriques arrived in Australia as a baby and first played cricket with friends aged nine. Occasionally compared to Steve Waugh, he looks overseas for Jacques Kallis as an all-round idol. "Everyone asks me if I prefer batting or bowling," he says, "I couldn't choose if I had to pick one." Peter English August 2010