Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England opener Mark Stoneman firmly believes that he deserves to keep hold of his spot in the Test team, even though he had a tough time during the tours of Australia and New Zealand.
During the Ashes, Stoneman did show flashes of excellence as he scored two half-centuries. But, he ended up scoring 232 runs at an average of 25.77.
However, Stoneman fared a lot better in New Zealand as he accumulated 161 runs in the two-Test series, which included two fifties, at an average of 40.25.
Overall, the 30-year-old amassed 393 runs in seven Tests at an average of 30.23.
“A lot of ups and downs this winter,” Stoneman was quoted as saying by Sky Sports. “There’s a whole range of emotions that you go through – it was pretty tough, certainly disappointing from a results point of view.
“In terms of my own performances, I feel like there was some good stuff in there, stuff to build on, but there were a few opportunities missed as well.
“On reflection, I feel I’m good enough. The processes and the rhythms are the same, but it’s just the intensity and the scrutiny that you’re under is a hell of a lot more, so it’s about trying to keep things in context.
“[The Ashes] it’s a bit of a circus. You find that all the things that are going on, and what is deemed to be important, detracts from some really good cricket.
“Without doubt, we did some good things as a team in Australia. But, when the key moments came, Australia got it right every time, while we didn’t. And, once they gained momentum they managed to steamroller us.
“In most games we felt at the end of day three we were in decent positions. But, we never got things right on those day fours.
“Then, once things go against you, the media side of things snowballs and starts portraying a picture that I don’t think relates to what was actually happening in the dressing room and how we felt as a team.”
However, having scored two half-centuries against Australia and New Zealand, Stoneman is well aware of the fact that he has to begin converting his strong starts into bigger scores.
“I need to convert starts into big scores,” he said. “Runs are your currency as a batsman; that’s ultimately what you’re going to be judged on.
“It’s something I struggled with in the early part of my county career – I would make decent 30s or 40s but not make the hundreds that I needed to.
“I’ve since got into those habits in county cricket over the last few years but obviously haven’t transferred that over into Test cricket yet.
“I did some good work with Thorpey out in New Zealand, which I felt started getting me in a better place. I was feeling quite comfortable, so it would have been lovely if there’d been a third game.
“Obviously that first session in Auckland killed us. As a team, we did some good things in the second Test down in Christchurch but just weren’t able to force the result home.
“I don’t know Elgar, personally, but it will be nice to hopefully spend a little bit of time out there in the middle with him and at practice.
“He’s someone who always finds a way, regardless of the challenge he’s up against. So it will be good to pick his brains and work alongside him.
“Ultimately though, it’s up to me to me to make those runs to try and get selected for the Test series against Pakistan.”