Bell-Drummond faces conundrum ahead of Kent's clash with Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 12:09 09 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:09 09 May 2019
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Where to bat and whether to continue bowling? Those are the conundrums facing Daniel Bell-Drummond as Kent prepare to return to Specsavers County Championship action against Yorkshire next week.
The 25-year-old former England Lions batsman was one of the county's few standout performers during Spitfires somewhat disappointing Royal London One-Day Cup campaign, scoring an unbeaten 120 against Essex and picking up useful wickets with his, hitherto unseen, slippery right-arm seamers.
As a teenager Bell-Drummond bowled regularly during his Kent age-group games and whilst attending Millfield School in Somerset. Hip, ankle and Achilles heel issues have, however, since curtailed his pursuit of all-rounder status.
"Even though I'm new to bowling at a professional level I have done it quite a bit at school and for the Kent junior sides," said the Lewisham-born cricketer.
"We've had quite a few players missing for one reason and another so I put myself forward to give it a go.
"In the past, I used to pride myself on bowling, but I've not got the best physique for it to be honest, so I put it on the back-burner once I started picking up a few ankle and hip issues.
"When everything is clicking and I start the day feeling good with my body I back myself to bowl. But, in some ways, I don't want to become an obvious bowling option too quickly, just in case my body starts letting me down again.
"I'm thankful that the rest of the side and the club's strength and conditioning team see it that way too.
"It's a case of enjoying my bowling while I can I guess, because when Darren Stevens, Grant Stewart, Calum Haggett and Ivan Thomas are all back fit again, I'll be watching them from the covers and saying 'well bowled'."
As for his recent batting form, Bell-Drummond said: "I've been feeling good in the nets, but ultimately, it's about putting runs on the board while you feel in good nick. Happily, I've done that at the Oval and Beckenham.
"To be honest, I don't have a clue where I'll be batting once we get back to the red-ball stuff.
"I know Matt Renshaw is staying on for a little longer, so that will probably mean I'll be back in the middle-order next time out.
"I do want to get back to the top of the order, but that's up to the captain and the coach, so it's really all down to me to score runs more consistently in the red-ball format.
"Ultimately, wherever I'm put I'll be backing myself and I'll be grateful to be in the starting XI, but I've always opened the batting ever since I started playing the game."
Bell-Drummond added: "It sometimes feels a bit weird waiting around to bat, especially in four-day games, but it's my responsibility to do a good job for the team wherever I go in.
"There is a different mindset though, opening up in championship cricket you play the ball on its merits and leave alone a lot.
"If you nick it with soft hands there's a chance that you'll get four through third man. The board keeps ticking over.
"Whereas, in the middle order, there's a ring field when I go in and it's usually down to me as a batsman to spread that by taking matters into my own hands. So yes, the mindset changes but wherever I bat I'll be trying my hardest for sure."
Kent's four-day Specsavers County Championship match with Division One rivals Yorkshire starts at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Tuesday from 11am.