Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England opener Mark Stoneman has acknowledged that he failed to live up to expectations during the Ashes series against Australia. Having been given another opportunity to prove his worth, he is determined to make the most of it in the upcoming two-Test series against New Zealand.
Stoneman featured in all five Ashes Tests, but only mustered 232 runs, which included two half-centuries, at an average of 25.77.
Despite some questioning whether he deserved to be in the Test team, Stoneman retained his spot in the side and reiterated that he is eager to make amends in New Zealand.
“I’m hungry for runs and I feel I’ve got it in me to really perform at this level,” Stoneman was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail. “I’ve shown glimpses but that’s been the problem, it’s only been glimpses, and if I can produce some really good stuff here hopefully I can have a successful international career.”
Following Australia’s 4-0 win in the Ashes, Stoneman spent five weeks in his wife’s hometown of Sydney. During that time, the 30-year-old conceded that thoughts swirled around in his head about whether he could bounce back from his disappointing performance against the Baggy Greens.
“I judge myself pretty harshly,” he said. “Having individual uncertainty is where my problems started cropping up. It took a couple of weeks after the Ashes for me to sit back, look through it all and say ‘right, there’s some good stuff there but what was wrong at other times was probably my thought process.
“What I have to do if I play and miss or get a good ball is think ‘that’s life’ and draw a line through it, not start analysing myself out in the middle or anything like that. I’ve got to trust everything that got me to this level.
“Problems start arising when you live on the peaks and troughs. I just want to stay on a level now, work hard at my cricket and at the end of the day what will be will be. I’ve had a few weeks of reflection to understand where I’m at.
“I put myself on trial at times and I always put myself under pressure. I’m expecting good things of myself now, that’s the most important thing.”
While Stoneman will be put to the test by New Zealand’s pace attack, which includes Tim Southee, Trent Boult and Neil Wagner, the Newcastle native is ready for the challenges that await him in the two-Test series, which begins on March 22 in Auckland.
“I’ve got to score big runs,’ he said. “I’ve got the shots and I feel I’ve got the technique, I’ve just got to apply it for a bit longer. What I’ve done for three hours to get 50 I’ve got to do for six hours to get a hundred.
“There’s no better example than Cooky. He gave a classic demonstration of everything he’s about in that double hundred in Melbourne. When you’re facing a top attack you have to make the most of it when conditions are in your favour.
“It’s nice to have that bit of faith shown in me by the selectors now. They’ve seen something in what I’ve done so far to hopefully show there’s a good international career there to be unlocked. So that’s the kind of expectations and pressure I’m putting on myself to try to fulfil that.”