Nasser Hussain has said Joe Denly needs to convert his 30s and 40s into hundreds to save his Test spot, while discussing England’s possible top four in Joe Root’s absence on Sky Sports Cricket Podcast.
The full-time England captain will miss the Southampton Test against West Indies, which starts on Wednesday, to be present at the birth of his second child. As was discussed on a recent episode of Wisden Cricket Weekly podcast, while Denly is all set to play the first match, Root’s return for the two Old Trafford Tests could result in his ouster from the side.
🗣 @Jo_Wisden: “It’s not an exaggeration to say that Crawley is one good score away from ending Denly’s career in the next Test.
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) July 5, 2020
The 34-year-old has 22 double-figure scores in 26 Test innings with six half-centuries, but is yet to score a hundred. And Hussain believes converting the string of double-digit scores into a big one should be his only concern at the moment.
“It becomes a big game for Joe Denly,” Hussain said. “Those 30s and 40s, you can’t do that. With the England skipper waiting, Joe Denly needs to convert. Every time he has been on the crease, he has looked a high-class international player but then he gets out. So he needs to convert.
“First of all, he just has to do it once. Never underestimate that one big score. When you get that one score, you then have trained the brain and you feel an international cricketer. I still think that Joe Denly doesn’t quite feel a Test match cricketer. When you get that score … you pretty soon find out and you know that you’re meant for that place.
“That’s all I would say to Joe Denly. When you get to 30 and 40, go on and get that 100 because next time you will walk out to bat thinking, ‘I belong in this place,’ and the runs will come after that. [The] 30s and 40s don’t win you games, and don’t keep you in the side when England captain’s waiting.”