Search

Cricket: England Test call for Kent’s Denly

PUBLISHED: 18:21 21 September 2018 | UPDATED: 18:21 21 September 2018

Joe Denly on England limited-overs duty in 2009 (pic Gareth Copley/PA)

Joe Denly on England limited-overs duty in 2009 (pic Gareth Copley/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Kent’s Joe Denly and Rory Burns of Surrey earned earned their first Test call-ups for England’s forthcoming tour of Sri Lanka on Friday, but national selector Ed Smith insists there is no pressure to become “the new Alastair Cook”.

Cook ended a 12-year vigil at the top of the order with a farewell century against India earlier this month, leaving a yawning hole in the side.

Surrey’s title-winning captain Burns was overlooked over the course of five prolific years by Smith’s predecessors but the 28-year-old will now get the chance to succeed the country’s record run-scorer.

He is one of three opening batsmen selected for the three-match series, alongside fellow Test newcomer Denly and Keaton Jennings.

The latter, despite being the man in possession and Cook’s final partner, probably had the least compelling case to travel following a confidence-sapping summer.

Speaking after a Trent Bridge meeting with fellow selector James Taylor, captain Joe Root and coach Trevor Bayliss, who chipped in via Skype, Smith said: “I don’t really get hung up on the ‘next Alastair Cook’ narrative. I don’t think that’s the way you select.

“The fact is there is a vacancy at the top of the order and there will be a slightly new look, inevitably, because of Alastair going.

“If (the best player) was right-handed and slogged sixes all the time and that was the best thing to do, we’d go with that.

“But I think Rory Burns really deserves his chance in the Test squad. He has impressed everyone with the consistency of his run scoring, not just this year when he’s scored 1,300 runs and led Surrey to the title – which are both significant achievements – but over five years, when he has consistently scored over a thousand runs (per season).”

Denly’s road has been different. He played nine one-day internationals and five Twenty20s in 2009-10 but has spent the intervening eight years firmly off the radar.

He rebuilt his confidence as a roving hand for hire on the global T20 circuit and has done enough at Kent – batting at three and also impressing with the kind of part-time leg-spin which could be useful on the sub-continent – to earn a second life at the age of 32, one year younger than the retiring Cook.

Smith added: “I played with Joe when he was a very young man, you could see he was a fantastic natural athlete, a brilliant mover, talented batter, bowled leg-spin and everything came very easily to him.

“I think with players who get opportunities late in their careers you just want to know that touch of class is there, and there definitely is with him.”

Smith stood firm in support of Jennings, who averaged 19.20 in six Tests this summer and may owe his selection to a debut century in Mumbai in similar conditions to those England will face in Sri Lanka.

“Like every opening batsman this summer, Keaton found opening the batting difficult, there’s no secret about that, but when it comes to selecting a touring party we felt he was in our best squad to beat Sri Lanka,” he said.

“We are here talking about how are you going to replace Alastair Cook and what a hole he leaves – it’s a wonderful career and deserves every superlative going – but he didn’t find opening the batting in England in 2018 very easy.

“(Jennings) has come through a really tough summer and sometimes in international sport getting through something difficult can put you in good stead.”

Warwickshire’s Olly Stone continued his sharp career trajectory, following his first one-day call-up for next month’s five-match series with a maiden Test spot.

The 24-year-old’s ability to breach 90mph and an impressive statistical haul in Division Two this year counted in his favour but he appears alongside senior seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad – not instead.

On rumours one or both might have been spared the trip, Smith added: “At some stage there will be some need for succession planning, however in this instance we felt it was perfectly manageable for them to play these three Tests.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Bromley Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Bromley Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Bromley Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest news

Yesterday, 08:29

London City Royals put a brave face on back-to-back losses at Leicester Riders and Cheshire Phoenix over the weekend.

Yesterday, 07:00

Volunteers in Penge have been left dismayed after a pair of vandals destroyed a poppy display at the war memorial.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Wondering what the weather has in store for us this weekend? Watch our Met Office video forecast.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Jamie Brown of Archant Local Impact explains how you can build brand awareness.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Neil Smith hopes Bromley can begin the start of a lengthy run in this season’s FA Cup with victory at Gloucester City on Saturday.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Following the incredible sell-out stage success of Not Dead Enough, The Perfect Murder and Dead Simple, the number one best-selling author Peter James is back with a spine-tingling new world premiere play, The House On Cold Hill, coming to the Orchard Theatre in January.

Most read

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Bromley Times e-edition today
E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Bromley Times twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Family Notices 24