‘I’m still striving to play Test cricket’: Harry Brook is ready to open for England’s red-ball side should the in-form batsman earn a call-up against South Africa
- Harry Brook would be ready to open for England’s Test side against South Africa
- The batsman has been the in-form Englishman this summer – averaging 107.49
- Brook usually bats at five but thinks he would ‘do a good job batting anywhere’
Harry Brook has declared himself ready to open for England should the selectors opt to make a change against South Africa.
Yorkshire’s Brook, 23, is the in-form English-qualified batsman on the county circuit, averaging 107.49 in first-class cricket this summer. He toyed with the South African attack in making 140 in England Lions’ win at Canterbury last week.
And there is a strong argument for the Test team to cash in on the purplest of patches by handing him a debut in the position in which he started his career, particularly as his numbers are in stark contrast to those of Zak Crawley. The incumbent opener has failed to make 50 in eight Test innings this summer.
Harry Brook is ready to open for England’s Test side should he be selected against South Africa
‘I feel like I’d do a job batting anywhere to be honest, and if I got an opportunity to play Test cricket opening the batting, obviously I’m going to take it,’ Brook told Sportsmail.
‘But I do like batting five. I’ve fielded a lot of overs this year and, after 120, 130 overs, it’s quite nice to just get in, take your whites off and chill for a bit.’
Brook struggled as an opener across the 2018 and 2019 seasons but retains no technical concerns about combatting the new ball.
He has been the in-form English batter this summer, averaging 107.49 in first-class cricket
Brook worked hard on his game with his former schoolboy coach Martin Speight, allowing him to flourish.
‘I started triggering to try to get my balance in my head in the right position so I can play the ball as late as possible — whether in attack or defence,’ he explained. ‘I’m quite an attacking player but one thing I did need to change was my defence.
‘I probably wasn’t good enough defending and that got me in trouble because I’d try to hit my way out of it. Now, if someone bowls a ball at the top of the off stump, I feel like I csan block it out. I spent hours on it with Martin and the work has just helped everything.’
He said: ‘Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love T20. But, I’m still striving to play Test cricket’
Such discipline at the crease contrasts to the sense of impatience building as he awaits a taste of Test cricket though, just last week, Brook himself signed up to the new South African T20 competition next January.
But he countered: ‘For me, Test cricket is still the pinnacle. I think that’s the best format, the best competition in the world, the best standard. You play against the best bowlers, the best batters.
‘Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love T20. But yeah, I’m still striving to play Test cricket.’