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‘I feel like I’m running into a brick wall’ – Jamie Porter opens up on repeated England snubs

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Essex fast bowler Jamie Porter has opened up on how he feels “unlucky” not to have won an England Test call-up, despite his prolific form in the County Championship.

The right-arm seamer has claimed 181 Championship wickets at 21.68 since the start of 2017, winning two Division One titles in that time, but couldn’t find a place in England’s 55-man training group announced at the start of the summer. He says, comparing to the records of some of those selected ahead of him, he feels he’s had a “tough run”.

“I’ve given everything I’ve got to play Test cricket, that’s where all my energy has been focused – on becoming a Test bowler,” he told The County Collective.

“I kind of feel like I’m running into a bit of a brick wall. I look at how I’ve gone in the last five years and compare it with what I’ve seen elsewhere, and I feel I’ve had a bit of a tough run.

“I’m not saying I deserve to have played a Test match by now because there are a lot of good bowlers in the country, but I feel a little bit unlucky. I’ve taken a lot of wickets in the game so far, and not quite got what I would like to show for it.”

Porter was included in a 13-man England Test squad during their home 2018 series against India, and so has slipped back considerably in the pecking order since then. He mused whether his 2019 form, with which he was “disappointed” could have held him back – though his tally was still the fifth-best in the top tier by an England-qualified bowler.

“On a personal level, I was really disappointed with the way my season went,” he said. “I did alright in terms of wickets, I think I got 49 in the Championship. I would have taken that at the start of the season, but I don’t think I really bowled that well.

“In terms of selection I seem to have fallen back, even though 49 wickets is better than the amount some other people have been picked for in the past. For me, it seems to have pushed me further down the pecking order.

Porter feels he has 36 months in which to make his case before his chances of a national call-up are gone for good. “I’m very hungry to build a case and keep proving people wrong,” he said. “I definitely think in three years’ time that if I hadn’t played for England then that opportunity would have passed me by.”

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