11 The Daily Telegraph Tuesday 14 July 2020 *** Sport Cricket Denly ‘under a bit of pressure’, admits Silverwood By Tim Wigmore in world cricket – Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne and Root – have faced more deliveries than Denly, but he is yet to make a century. Jos Buttler, meanwhile, will be given the remainder of the series to show his worth, but is now averaging just 23.22 in 14 Tests going back to the start of 2019. Silverwood admitted that Buttler needed to score more runs. “He looked brilliant coming into this game, in practice and everything. He looked very good in the first innings,” he said. “He just needs to go and make those big scores now, doesn’t he? Which he knows as well. So, I mean, from our point of view, it’s just making sure that he feels confident in the environment he’s in. We’ll give him the best chance to succeed really. The rest of it is, he has a good day out, gets some runs, hopefully the rest will be history – he’ll go on from there.” Ben Foakes, who made a century during an interview in the middle of the Test, declaring that he felt “angry, frustrated and gutted”. Silverwood said that the words showed the bowler’s desperation to add to his 485 Test wickets. “I think Stuart handled himself very well during that interview. What I did love about it, and subsequently the conversations I’ve had with him, is that passion, that drive is still there and to see that in someone who’s done as much in the game as he has, I find very exciting.” Broad is likely to feature in the second Test, with England needing to manage the workload of their quick bowlers. Chris Woakes will also come into strong contention, with Mark Wood and James Anderson the two bowlers most at risk of missing out. “We will put them through their paces and see where we are at,” Silverwood said. “Nothing is a given in this team and people will be playing for their spots. Everything will be considered.” Batsman likely to make way for return of captain Root And after Silverwood praised Crawley, it seems likely that innings will secure his place, with England set to wait until after the first practice session at Old Trafford today before naming their squad. “We’re all desperate to see Joe [Denly] do really well,” Silverwood said. “We can see he’s trying hard, he’s training hard. He’s a great bloke, but obviously he’s under a bit of pressure.” On Crawley, he said: “Zak is improving constantly. He certainly showed maturity and the innings he played was very good. We have some young players in that side that seem to have good heads on their shoulders, and he’s one of them.” If he is dropped, at the age of 34 and with a Test average of 29.5, Denly will find it a huge challenge to ever regain his place, even though the England hierarchy have admired his resolve. Since his Test debut last January, only two batsmen ‘Passionate’ Broad told he still has big role to play in team on his Test debut in Sri Lanka in 2018, is in England’s extended redball training group and is next in line for the Test gloves. “I’m not going to go down that road yet of putting Jos under pressure, because I don’t think it’s going to help him,” Silverwood said. “First and foremost, I want to give Jos the best opportunity to succeed. But we have got a very good gloveman in Ben Foakes, which we’re lucky to have.” Silverwood said that, after his controversial omission from the first Test, Stuart Broad “still has a big role to play within this team – and I’ve made that very clear to him”. Broad made his frustrations clear Joe Denly is set to pay the price for England’s first Test defeat by West Indies after head coach Chris Silverwood admitted the batsman was “under pressure”. Either Denly or Zak Crawley will drop out of the side for the second Test starting on Thursday to accommodate the return of captain Joe Root, who missed the fourwicket defeat at Old Trafford after his wife gave birth. Denly was thought likely to retain his place at the start of the series but he managed just 18 and 29 at the Ageas Bowl while Crawley made a Test-best 76 in the second innings. A bowler put saliva on the ball, which required umpires to spray it nervous tension as your batsmen build up partnerships, each run taking you that much closer to victory, but you can never be sure. The groundsman marked a thin blue line, wide of the pitch on each side, for the non-striker to run up and down at a social distance. One of the opposing bowlers forgot to change the habit of a lifetime and put saliva on the ball, which required the umpires to spray it. Given all the other demands on an umpire, it is asking a lot of them to count every six overs – after which sanitising is required – as well as every six balls. Calling the break has to be one for the scorers. When bowling, it is a tug-of-war, every player having to take the strain. Every dot ball is a brick in the wall of victory, every wicket a step closer. The rest of the world recedes, it is all-absorbing – and the joy if you can do a job and help win the game for your mates, even if you are bowling badly, or especially if you are bowling badly. It was only a friendly, but that is a cup half full. No league this season – and no satisfaction quite like winning a crucial match – but still some decent friendly fixtures, such as Incogniti and MCC, provided they can raise enough local players who do not have to travel far. No club tea, but a barbecue afterwards. I suppose it would have been unfair if we had enjoyed our usual tea, and a game of cricket in idyllic surroundings, and a barbecue, all on a summer’s day. It would have been heaven before its time.
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