Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

England shore up spin, give Simon Kerrigan another break

Kerrigan made his debut during the drawn final Test of England’s 3-0 home Ashes series win (Source: AP) Kerrigan made his debut during the drawn final Test of England’s 3-0 home Ashes series win (Source: AP)
Press Trust of India | London | Posted: July 15, 2014 12:58 am | Updated: July 15, 2014 10:10 am

Having endured a nightmarish debut in the Ashes last year, England spinner Simon Kerrigan says a decent outing against India in the ongoing Test series will give him the confidence to perform well against other opponents.

“If you do well against Indian batsmen you can do well against anyone, really,” he insisted ahead of the Lord’s Test starting July 17.

The Lancashire spinner has been named in the 14-member England squad after the opening Test of the five-match series ended in a tame draw at Nottingham on Sunday.

The 25-year-old Kerrigan made his debut during the drawn final Test of England’s 3-0 home Ashes series win at The Oval last year, but went wicketless in Australia’s first innings while giving away 53 runs, which prompted English skipper Alastair Cook not to give him the ball in the second innings. He has been out of favour since then.

“Over the winter I learned more about my action and about the mental side of the game,” Kerrigan told reporters. “As a professional cricketer you’re always learning. I learned from last year’s Test that the sun will come up the day after that and that it’s not the end of the world. What happened is in your thoughts a little bit, but I know my job is to bowl spin and I bowl it every day so it’s no different. I have to learn from every experience I get and keep progressing.”
Kerrigan, who bowled in the nets at Trent Bridge, said he was keen to do well for England.

“I keep striving for perfection and keep working towards my goal, which is to get into the England side and to bowl well for England. The week with England has definitely helped. I know a lot of the lads from previous trips and familiar faces help. Hopefully, I will get a chance to show off my skills, what I do in county cricket, on the big stage,” the left-armer said.

After Graeme Swann’s retirement, part-time off-break bowler Moeen Ali, who is primarily a batsman, has been performing the spin-bowling duties. Kerrigan feels that a specialist spinner would certainly offer England a good option.

“There’s not been a frontline spinner picked in the Tests so far, so you’d be lying a little bit if you said you weren’t looking at that as a goal,” said Kerrigan.

Squad for 2nd Test: Alastair Cook (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance , Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Simon Kerrigan, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior, Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

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