I’ve got all bases covered ... I FEEL SUPERHUMAN!
In news to strike terror into Test match bowlers, HARRY BROOK reveals he’s using baseball to add even more power
JUST when it seemed bowlers had d suffered enough, Harry Brook has revealed plans to add even more power to his game after an eye- opening training session with Major League Baseball giants the st Louis Cardinals.
Brook, 24, stopped d over in Florida on his s way home from m England’s recent test t series in New Zealand, d, and was staggered by y both the work ethic of the baseball players s and their physical al prowess.
And while Brook — tipped to become a ‘global superstar’ by England test captain in Ben stokes after a dreamy first winter er as an international al cricketer — claims his attempts to hit a home me run were thwarted by a stiff breeze, he left eft America keen to prove ove that the leap from om baseball to Bazball is more than linguistic.
‘The lads there were ere stacked,’ says Brook, an MLB ambassador. ‘they hey were massive and they hey were saying all the power wer comes from the legs. If I was going to practise anything from there, it would be getting a stronger base and using my legs a bit more for power when I’m trying to hit in cricket.’
It’s not as if he has struggled to put bat to ball during the past few months, in which he has won a World Cup, scored four centuries in five tests, and picked up over £1.3m at the IPL auction.
If Jonny Bairstow was Bazball’s first poster boy, until he broke his leg playing golf, Brook — his replacement — has been the second, scoring 809 runs in 10 test innings, with 120 alone coming in sixes.
Then there’s his strike-rate of almost 99. since his test debut against south Africa last year, no one in world cricket (with a minimum of 100 runs) has scored more rapidly. His explanation says everything about England’s transformation. ‘We’re scoring at a quick rate but I don’t feel like I’m going to get out,’ he says. ‘I feel like I’ve been pumped up with so much confidence I can do anything. When we’re out there, we feel superhuman.’
His battle with Australia’s bowlers this summer could decide the Ashes. But Brook — whose temperament is as unflappable as his batting is incandescent — is not about to get ahead of himself.
First up, starting later this month, is a stint at the IPL with sunrisers Hyderabad, whose coaching staff include West Indies legend Brian Lara.
‘I’m looking forward to it,’ he says. ‘there are a lot of good players there and hopefully I get some opportunities to express how I’m playing at the minute, and show the world I’m capable of scoring runs anywhere.’ Brook, you suspect, would have flourished in any era and any format. What of the comparisons with Kevin Pietersen, the last England batter to cause such a stir? Brook was six years old when Pietersen helped Michael Vaughan’s side regain the Ashes at the Oval in after 16 years of misery, but something lodged in his mind.
‘I used to love watching him bat when I was younger,’ he says. ‘Obviously he played such an entertaining brand of cricket: he always looked to take the attack to the bowlers and put them under pressure.’
For now, it’s a good job Brook has not allowed the plaudits to go to his head. ‘It’s been a good year,’ he says. ‘I never thought I’d be saying I was a World Cup winner, or have four test hundreds. I’m very lucky to have come into this test side, the way we’re trying to play.’
Has test cricket ever felt easy? ‘ Definitely not. I never like saying any cricket’s easy. It can soon bite you in the a*** if you say something like that.’
St Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs in the MLB World Tour: London Series on June 24-25 at the London Stadium.
Go to ticketmaster.co.uk/mlb