Durham seamer Brydon Carse mulled briefly over whether he could be England’s enforcer. It only took a second. “Yes,” he said. “That’s what I’d like to see myself as. I want to come on and be aggressive. I want to make an impact in the game. That might not necessarily be taking wickets but creating opportunities from the other end.”
Carse bowled aggressively during England’s victory over the Netherlands in the second ODI at Amstelveen on Sunday, hitting the pitch hard and generating enough pace to give the Netherlands batters the hurry up as well as helping to run out the Dutch captain, Scott Edwards, with a sharp throw from midwicket.
Carse, who turns 27 next month, made his England debut last year as part of the shadow squad hurried together after Covid wiped out England’s first-choice team. He played in three ODIs, picking up five wickets in the third game at Edgbaston as Pakistan tried to build on the platform provided by Babar Azam, before cover-driving them to victory with two overs to spare.
He is highly thought of by the England hierarchy – old and new – and though he was ruled out of last winter’s Lions tour due to a knee injury, has bounced back quickly. In a climate where England are missing seven of their fastest bowlers through injury – Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Fisher, Olly Stone, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson – that is a very valuable asset.
Most excitingly, he is quick, clocking up mph speeds in the late 80s and early 90s, and ambitious for the future.
“When things are clicking it’s good to bowl quick,” he said. “It adds a different dimension to the team. If I can be bowling in and around that 90mph mark then I am sure it will create opportunities for me in any side in which I am playing … There’s a few guys who can bowl those speeds who are carrying injuries so if any more opportunities come up I’ll be happy to take them.”
Many see him in the Liam Plunkett role, bowling the middle overs in ODIs, forcing the opposition batters on to the back foot, and he is very happy with the comparison. “That’s something I am striving to be like. Obviously, he had a very good England career and if I can fulfil that role going forward it’s a big positive.”
It will not do his prospects in red-ball cricket any harm that he plays for Durham, alongside the new England red-ball captain, Ben Stokes, and Matthew Potts, who made his debut in the Test series against New Zealand.
“I missed the first five Championship games at Durham because I was coming back from injury. But I want to play Test cricket for England,” he said.