It’s onerous sufficient for a younger participant to take their first steps in worldwide cricket with out having to take action able by which they’ve by no means performed earlier than. However such is the energy of England’s prime order batting in white-ball cricket that that’s precisely the scenario that finds himself in.
Banton, who’s a restricted overs opener for Somerset, has by no means batted at quantity 4 and but that’s the function England have requested him to play within the first two ODIs towards Eire. In his debut collection towards South Africa in February, he batted at six, a equally unfamiliar place. Banton has made scores of 11 from 24 deliveries and a run a ball 15 within the present collection towards Eire and has not regarded practically as dynamic as he can on the prime of the order. “I am not going to lie, it does really feel unnatural in the meanwhile,” he mentioned on the eve of Tuesday’s third and closing match of the collection.
“I’ve by no means batted there in any respect,” he added. “I’ve at all times appeared to be on the prime of the order. In red-ball final yr I batted 4, 5, six, and clearly it is totally different. I’ve spoken to some guys they usually’ve advised me just a few issues to attempt to take into my recreation. I am getting used to it, looking for the best tempo. A rating there would in all probability give me a little bit of confidence and that’ll really feel good however I am simply ready for that in the meanwhile.
“It is in all probability one thing I will need to get used to if I will [play for England]. I’ve been making an attempt to work on it within the nets. It is one thing I’ve started working on if I wish to play extra. I am working fairly carefully with [Marcus] Trescothick which has been good – we have provide you with just a few issues which hopefully I can attempt tomorrow.
“It is about giving myself an opportunity as a result of I do know I can catch up. If I am in for 40, 50 balls, I again myself to catch up. It is in all probability rotating the strike extra coming in and when there’s a dangerous ball placing it away. However I do not wish to put an excessive amount of stress on myself, it is the primary few instances I’ve batted there so I am not anticipating an excessive amount of.”
It’s an fascinating dilemma, not just for Banton however quite a lot of different fringe batsmen who often bat on the prime of the order in county cricket, resembling Joe Denly, Phil Salt and Sam Hain, however who’re unlikely to drive their well beyond the likes of Jason Roy, Johnny Bairstow and Joe Root on the prime of England’s 50-over line-up. Then once more, the center order, with Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler to come back again in, is not that straightforward to get into both. Nonetheless, Banton thinks he’ll in all probability must study to bat at quantity six to face any likelihood of breaking into England’s workforce.
To do this successfully, it will seem that he would want to begin batting frequently within the center order for Somerset within the Royal London One-Day Cup however that’s one thing he’s, understandably, reluctant to do given the success he has had as an opener in each Checklist A and T20 cricket. “It is a onerous one,” he mentioned. “I really like opening so I will in all probability keep it up doing that. It is tough, if I do wish to play I am in all probability going to slip in at 6 realistically.
“It’s in all probability essentially the most troublesome sports activities workforce on the earth to get into, in the meanwhile. Particularly for me as an opener. I am simply going to attempt to preserve scoring as many runs as attainable and see the place that takes me.”
Banton had a blended winter. He made his debut for England in New Zealand throughout the T20I collection after which scored three half-centuries in seven Huge Bash matches, his first T20 franchise expertise. Comparisons continued to be made between him and Kevin Pietersen within the model that the 21 year-old right-hander performs. However then Banton had a disappointing Pakistan Tremendous League, averaging 12.77 from seven video games, and admitted to a level of burnout on the finish of practically 12 months continuous cricket. In that respect, the enforced lockdown interval helped.
“I simply performed a lot cricket,” Banton mentioned. “I would gone from simply taking part in for Somerset to taking part in most days of the week within the winter. It was fairly onerous for me. I am somebody who likes to get away from the sport and revel in not excited about it. Lockdown was essentially the most excellent factor for me. My love did not disappear for cricket. I simply did not do very nicely in Pakistan, which in all probability did not assist. It was tough being away from household many of the winter. I’ve discovered my love for it once more and it is good to be again taking part in.”