“You would have thought that for someone who hasn’t played a lot of international cricket, when the spinners come on – and these are good spinners on this surface – you’d think that would be hard work. Not for him”
Last Updated: 28/08/20 9:28pm
The way Tom Banton played Pakistan’s spinners for his maiden T20 half-century is an encouraging sight ahead of the T20 World Cup in India next year, says Rob Key.
Opening the batting with Jonny Bairstow, who was removed in the first over at Emirates Old Trafford on Friday night, Banton was offered some early good fortune as he was dropped by Iftikhar Ahmed when he was on just five.
The 21-year-old cashed in, making 71 off 42 deliveries to add his name to England’s list of explosive top-order talent in limited-overs cricket.
“I thought Banton was outstanding,” Key said, after rain cut the game short with England 131-6 in the first innings.
“You see how fast his hands are; that little snap through that he has. At the point when he’s looking to hit the ball, that wrist break comes into it, that’s why he can end up hitting the ball such a long way because that adds to the bat speed that he has.
“The way he was able to hit the ball into the seats from the middle of the wicket – so he’s got pretty big boundaries either side – I thought it was a seriously good knock.
“You would have thought that for someone who hasn’t played a lot of international cricket, when the spinners come on – and these are good spinners on this surface – you’d think that would be hard work.
“Not for him, which looks really good when it comes to playing in the sub-continent, playing the World T20 in India – things like that are a great sight.”
Key said the way Banton sprung into life after a slow rebuild following the departure of Bairstow was “a different class”.
“You look at someone like Malan, who’s a very, very good T20 player and he was only at a run a ball, but Tom Banton, after a slow start where he couldn’t get a lot of the strike, all of a sudden just clicked into gear and then it was a different class.
“It’s going to be so hard to get into this white-ball team. I wasn’t really paying much attention to him in the 50-over stuff against Ireland when he was batting in the middle order. I think he’s a good player but his real strength is at the top as an opener.
“This is one of the first times we’ve seen him: ‘Right, Tom Banton, this is the role that you play for Somerset, and around the world in T20 leagues – what have you got?’
“Well, that was pretty special.”
Source : Sky Sports