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The Surfer

Jennings hungry for more Test success

England opener Keaton Jennings discusses Durham's ECB punishment, his own rise and the challenge of taking on South Africa - the country of his birth - this summer

Speaking to Donald McRae in the Guardian, Keaton Jennings reflects on a significant six months in his career. From the run glut he experienced in 2016, to his county, Durham, being demoted from Division One for financial mismanagement, captaining the England Lions and then going on to score a century on Test debut in India, Jennings has come of age. He is tipped to be part of the Test side for England's series against South Africa, the country of his birth, later this summer and the question of his allegiances is likely to come to the fore once again:
"I expected the negativity," Jennings says when recalling the response to his first Test century. "But I didn't expect the quantity or some of the criticism to go so far. Lots of people got involved in social media - including really big names - and it caused a massive ripple effect. People were arguing for and against me. Some articles had nasty words, some articles had really nice words. The majority were nice but it's hard not to think of the nasty 20%. At the same time, social media has given people a voice to reach those they admire or hate. You've got to take the good with the bad and I know I made the right decision."
How will South Africa's players react? "It's probably divided in terms of being understanding or being unhappy with me. It doesn't really bother me what they think to be totally honest. I'm sure they're not going to be too friendly on the field which is the way it should be."