Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Surrey off-spinner Gareth Batty has announced that he believes he is “good enough” to be England’s lead spinner following Graeme Swann’s retirement midway through the recent Ashes series against Australia.
The 36-year-old’s bold comments came after he took a career-best 8 for 68 against Essex at Chelmsford. The last time a spinner took eight wickets in a match for Surrey was Anil Kumble, who claimed 8 for 100 against Northamptonshire at The Oval in 2006.
Batty has represented England in seven Tests, 10 ODIs and one Twenty20 International, but he is keen to revive his international career.
“I think my skills are good enough,” Batty told ESPNcricinfo. “I look around, as an off-spinner and batsman, I don’t see anybody who can do it the way I can. I truly believe that. It’s the first time in a very long time.
“I think sometimes you just understand the positions your body gets into and you know what reaction you get at the end of that. I think I am relatively comfortable now at saying, ‘This ball I’m going to do this’ and I can execute it.”
Batty’s bowling averages in Tests and ODIs, which stand at 66.63 and 73.20 respectively, are nothing to boast about, but he feels that he deserves another chance after having gained a lot of experience at the domestic level.
“I think in patches over the last few years I’ve bowled really well,” he said. “Swanny was the best England spinner ever and I was not going to oust him. Now, I think I’m good enough to do it. I’d say it’s the first time in my career that I would actually say that to people – easily, I can do the job.
“If I’m going to get picked, first and foremost, I’ve got to play for Surrey. It’s been nice to get a game and take a few wickets. I felt I’m bowling as well as I ever have done, all this year really. I didn’t quite do what I wanted to do at the end of last year, but I have rectified a few things and it’s just nice when you get a few poles.”