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Kerrigan motivated by tough Test debut

ESPNcricinfo staff

September 10, 2013

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Simon Kerrigan's Test debut was a painful affair, England v Australia, 5th Investec Test, The Oval, 1st day, August 21, 2013
Simon Kerrigan had nowhere to hide on his Test debut © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Simon Kerrigan

Simon Kerrigan, the Lancashire left-arm spinner, is determined to use the chastening experience of his Test debut to make himself into a better cricketer and earn another chance in the England team.

Kerrigan was handed his first cap in the final Ashes Test against Australia, at The Oval, but was treated with disdain on the opening day, especially by Shane Watson, as he bowled eight overs for 53 including a series of long hops and full tosses.

He was not given another bowl in the match by Alastair Cook and Kerrigan has admitted it took a few days to feel his normal self again. But he believes quickly returning to action with Lancashire was the best thing that he could have done following some consoling words from England team director, Andy Flower.

"I'm my own biggest critic and I was really disappointed with how it went. I was feeling sorry for myself for a couple of days, but getting back into things straight away with Lancashire helped," Kerrigan told BBC Radio Lancashire. "Andy Flower took me to one side and said 'you are far better off having the experience you've had now rather than getting a go in four or five years, and it would be an even greater story if you bounced back from it and had a prospering Test career'.

"As long as I keep an energy about myself, wanting to get better - an experience like that drives you on to get better, get back into the side and, if you get another chance, prove what you can do.''

Kerrigan returned to Lancashire colours the day after celebrating with his England team-mates at The Oval, taking 1 for 45 in a YB40 encounter against Essex, and looked to have regained his form and confidence in the Championship match against Hampshire at Southport, where he took seven wickets and scored an unbeaten 62 at No. 11.

He refuses, though, to put down his troubled debut to the easy excuse of first-game nerves. "I tried to rely on the times where I've been nervous but also come out of the other side and done really well from that. I wouldn't say it was just nerves. Technically, it didn't click. That's what happens with young spinners. I'm 24, still learning my action and still learning the game."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by 2.14istherunrate on (September 11, 2013, 16:08 GMT)

Obviously Kerrigan was not himself at the Oval. One does not get a test place bowling like that but more likely one's cards. Going back to Lancashire he just needs to carry on as before, but if he can learn the odd relaxation trick then he will be better for him. The figures he has produced for Lancs over time are a fairer reflection of his ability, but I do not blame Cook in the slightest for not using him again. A few more outings at Lions' level will do him more good than more Tests at present.It is no disgrace not to be ready.

Posted by HughL on (September 11, 2013, 15:44 GMT)

I agree with Sigismund. No one deserves to be judged on 8 overs bowled at a very destructive batsman and in modern sport everyone rushes into categorise everyone as a hero or zero

Posted by trav29 on (September 11, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

@electric-loco swann's record in Australia last time wasn't good as there weren't a lot of aussie batsmen left by the time he came on to bowl in most of the games ;-)

Posted by electric_loco_WAP4 on (September 11, 2013, 13:26 GMT)

Well ,he doesn't need to worry as with Swann's woeful record in Aus and looking too innocuous in last Ashes with Clarke,Watson,Smith picking him of for fun scoring tons in the process the Aussies will have a chance at him again by the 2nd/3rd tests with Swann living to his record and a few Aus bats with big tons to their name .There are not much options ,are they otherwise for Eng ? By the way, seeing him in his debut 1 can't be blame thinking likes of Lyon,Smith etc as great spinners in the same game . As for the Aus bats, it's 1 more reason to build anticipation for the home Ashes .

Posted by   on (September 11, 2013, 12:01 GMT)

Dear all - I wish him all the best and the county comeback was at least a first very good sign of spirit. It seems to me the explanation really was nerves. Evidence is George Dobell's brilliant Cricinfo description of what happened to his action - GD having seen him play for Lancs like a proper expert should, he analysed how his normal flow and impetus had been reduced to an apologetic hiccup of an action which resulted in no accuracy and no spin. That is, he was only a shadow of the "real" Kerrigan. It happens quite often in sport - see the British swimming team at every recent Olympics. So for the future the question is whether next time, if he wins the chance, hopefully after a steady build-up through Lions etc, and maybe a drop of sports pyschology, he can be himself - or will he "just" be a county star. Further, it's worth considering that captains have to learn how to lead each new individual - any skipper would have struggled to "fix" the new boy in that match. (Cue Coldplay.)

Posted by Ozcricketwriter on (September 11, 2013, 9:37 GMT)

The captain, Cook, was nice to him by giving him just 8 overs. Other bowlers in a similar situation have had 30 or more overs and gone for over 100.

Posted by trav29 on (September 11, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

really don't agree that it was bad captaincy not to give him a bowl in the Australia second innings. it was obvious Australia were looking to score quick runs to setup a declaration and if cook had brought Kerrigan on and they had gone after him it would not only given his confidence another knock but also made Australia's position better with regards to a declaration

Posted by TheBigBoodha on (September 11, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

Well, things didn't go well, and nobody wants to see a young guy humiliated on his international sporting debut. Thought Cook should have given him a chance at redemption. Surely a couple of overs in the second innings could not have hurt anybody, given how defensive the fields were? Cook is overly defensive in my view, way too quick to retreat as soon as the battle gets tough. Captains the same way he bats. He did go for the win in the last session, but what did he have to lose? Eng were not going to lose 10 wickets in a session on what was effectively a day 3 pitch.

Posted by Showbags88 on (September 11, 2013, 5:39 GMT)

The bloke didn't look up to it from what I saw. Yes he might of been nervous which is fair enough and Cook didn't give him any confidence with his captaincy but his action is horrible. He has no momentum through the crease and doesn't impart any serious revolutions on the ball. If that is the future of English spin bowling then maybe it might be best for England to ask Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar to play into their 40's. Lyon is a mile better than Kerrigan at a similar age.

Posted by mehulmatrix on (September 11, 2013, 4:18 GMT)

Well for a debutant and new players, the most important thing is confidence and faith in him. OK, he got knocked for few runs, so what? Give him more overs, more he bowls more comfortable one becomes and comes in his own. Wasnt he picked cause he has done well in FC's and has good potential? Cook doesn't come across a captain who can inspire or be innovative. He tends to rely on skills of players for game to change. Not getting any more overs would have really hit the confidence on such a level. I hope he comes back stronger, Best wishes Simon.

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