CHITTAGONG: England off-spinner Gareth Batty said on Friday he’s come a long way since being at the receiving end of Brian Lara’s world record innings of 400 runs, as he looks to resume his Test career in Bangladesh at the age of 39.
Batty conceded 185 runs in 52 overs in the first innings, the highest among England bowlers when West Indies’ batting great Lara reclaimed his world record from Australia’s Mathew Hayden in the 2004 Test in St. John’s, Antigua.
Batty soon lost his place in the side and has not played a Test match for England since facing Bangladesh at Chester-le-Street in 2005. He was recalled to the team after 11 years on the back of solid performances for the county side Surrey and is now vying for a place in England’s starting line-up with Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari.
“It’s irrelevant now,” said Batty about his nightmare in Antigua against Lara’s West Indies.
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“Some people see it as a big thing, but for me it’s a game that’s gone and it’s about what’s put in front of you.
“When I finish it’ll be a game that you look back on but certainly not at the minute — there’s a job to be done and games to be won, so I’ll be looking to do whatever I can to help that.”
Batty, who celebrated his 39th birthday on Thursday, said he considered himself a better bowler now than 12 years ago, adding that he was eager for an opportunity to prove his mettle.
“The proof will be in the pudding, if I’m fortunate enough to get a go,” he said.
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“But on a daily basis for the last few years I have known what I have to do… I feel a better bowler, yeah.”
He also felt lucky to have an opportunity to revive his career at a time when his other teammates from his previous Test against Bangladesh have since retired.
“Life gives you opportunities and I’ve been very fortunate,” he said. “The biggest one was having a child, but this is another, and we’ll see where we get.”
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He is ready to play his part as “one of those boys” despite being 20 years older than his current teammate Haseeb Hamid.
“There are a few boys at Surrey who are even younger than that,” he said. “I’d like to think everybody takes the age out of it. They see the wrinkles in the morning and think ‘he’s an old sod’ but for the rest of the time hopefully I’m just one of the boys.”
England will play two Tests against Bangladesh with the first test beginning at Chittagong on October 20.
Courtesy : Express Tribune