After receiving his maiden Test call-up for the tour of New Zealand, new England national squad entrant Dominic Sibley now has his sights trained on making the XI for the first Test in Mount Maunganui late next month.
Sibley roared into England’s red-ball squad on the back of 1324 runs for Warwickshire in Division One of the County Championship, at an average of 69.68. It was by far the highest in the season, with no other batsman touching the 1000-run mark.
Given those numbers, Sibley’s selection was nothing out of what was expected, having arrived in the midst of increasing calls for him to be given a chance to address England’s top-order struggles. Sibley wants to make the opportunity count.
"He is very organised, very patient and he's happy to bat all day and take his time scoring runs."
Find out how Dominic Sibley changed his game to become England's next Test opener ?https://t.co/jvaADecJ73
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 24, 2019
“First of all, I want to go out there and train hard, be as well prepared as I can be in case I do get that call and get the cap,” he told Sky Sports. “Then, once I get the chance to play, it’s an opportunity to never give it away.
“That’s my aim, if I do get the cap, then I want to be opening the batting for England for as many years as possible. That’s solely my aim if I’m lucky enough to get the cap.”
Sibley brings unique value to an England line-up that is replete with attacking batsmen who love to express themselves. A classical long-form batsman, Sibley is a throwback to older times, with his endless reserves of patience and stamina to occupy the crease for long periods, as demonstrated during the Championship, where he faced 3024 balls in 21 innings – an average of 144 balls per innings.
“What I’m seeing with promoting Jason Roy to open the batting from white-ball cricket, to me shows utter disrespect for how hard the job is. They’re almost taking the stance that, well, anybody can do it. Not everyone can do it."https://t.co/dAEBlXzQp4
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) September 27, 2019
“Everyone that has played as an opener has deserved their chance through doing really well at county level,” Sibley said. “I don’t think it’s a case of me doing anything different, it’s just that this season, something has clicked for me, I’ve got a better understanding of my game and, hopefully, I can take that into the Test arena.
“I’m just excited to get out there and test myself, it’ll be a challenge of myself and my skills against our guys in the nets and then, hopefully, if I get the call-up, against the New Zealanders. I’m looking forward to it.”