Jones sets sights on top order spot
AIMING HIGH: Wicketkeeper looking to secure No.3 position at Kent
GERAINT JONES wants to pin down a regular top-three spot in Kent’s batting line-up this summer.
Kent’s former England wicketkeeper finished last season as the No. 3 man in their County Championship matches and said: “Hopefully I will get the chance to carry on there this season.
“It’s a tough position but I enjoyed it and had some success and I have set my winter training around batting at No.3.”
Jones finished 2008 with 668 firstclass runs at an average of 30.38, which represented a reasonable return after he had struggled early on.
He said: “I was happy with my wicketkeeping last year but I didn’t start the season well with the bat and that is something I have been trying to address this winter.”
And, according to Jones, all his Kent team-mates have been prompted to take a hard look at themselves following the disappointment of relegation from the LV Championship first division.
He added: “We are a proud county and a proud bunch of players and want to be playing in the top division. Being relegated left a sour taste in the mouth after what had been – up to the last few weeks – a pretty successful season.”
But Jones admits he was still surprised by the vitriolic nature of some of the comments posted on the Kent website after their relegation had been confirmed, saying: “It sounded a bit like a lynch mob and that people were baying for blood.
“At one point we were in line to win three or four trophies and it was amazing how it all changed around in the space of a few weeks.”
With Australia defending the Ashes in England this summer, Jones is bound to receive frequent reminders of the role he played during that magical series the last time the Aussies were here four years ago.
And, still only 32, he certainly hasn’t give up hope of winning a recall to the Test side. He said: “I hope I haven’t been written off because I have got a lot of experience at international level and I know my game a lot more now.”