Few people have had better a year in 2020 than Zak Crawley has.
Coming into the international summer after a quietly encouraging series in South Africa at the start of the year, Crawley, with regular skipper Joe Root missing the first West Indies Test on paternity leave, was essentially in a shootout for the No.3 position with his Kent teammate Joe Denly.
An impressive second innings 76 helped him retain his spot ahead of Denly, and Crawley earned the opportunity to have a full Test summer to nail down his place in the side. He handsomely repaid the selectors’ faith in him, finishing the summer with an extraordinary 267 against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl.
Crawley carried that form back into county cricket upon the completion of the Pakistan Test series, scoring a century in his sole Bob Willis Trophy appearance and was one of the most destructive top-order batsmen in the country in the T20 Blast.
Crawley was one of 12 young English batsmen profiled in the most recent issue of Wisden Cricket Monthly. The extended feature on Crawley includes interviews with the young batsmen himself as well as Matt Walker, his Kent head coach. Walker was gushing in his praise for the 22-year-old.
“In my mind, it’s what he’s made to do,” said Walker. “That’s what he’s on this earth to do, to be the best player for England and to score more runs than anyone’s scored. I suspect that’s his mindset, not that he would say it because he’s too modest and humble, but the ambition and burning desire is there. It’s there to be seen in how hard he works, in his quiet confidence, day in, day out, in everything he does.”