Search

Hampshire v Essex: Westley looks to build on productive winter

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 April 2018

Tom Westley hits four runs for Essex against Cambridge MCCU at Fenner's (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Tom Westley hits four runs for Essex against Cambridge MCCU at Fenner's (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Tom Westley has the trophy, caps and scars to show for a rollercoaster year.

Tom Westley in batting action for Essex at The Cloudfm County Ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Tom Westley in batting action for Essex at The Cloudfm County Ground (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

It somehow fits the narrative that the late September afternoon when Essex were presented with the golden Specsavers County Championship goblet should be the day England announced his omission from the winter Ashes party.

“It was probably my greatest year in cricket,” says Westley. “It all happened at once. To play for England was a boyhood dream come true. But it was obviously bitterly disappointing getting dropped [by England] at the end of the summer.”

Worse was to follow. On the first day of the first match on the consolation Lions tour to Australia, Westley suffered a break to the middle finger of his left hand that brought his winter plans to a grinding halt.

“It was actually fielding,” he adds. “I was fielding on the boundary and I dropped a high ball late in the day. I didn’t realise how serious the finger was at the time. We thought it might just be a dislocation and there was talk of me batting later on that evening.

Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom Westley share a joke during the Essex CCC Press Day (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom Westley share a joke during the Essex CCC Press Day (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

“Scans went back and forth from England and Brisbane and next thing I knew I was on the plane home and having surgery two days afterwards. It was actually more severe than initially thought. I’ve now got three pins in my finger and it’s still quite swollen.”

There was a silver lining amid the gloom. “I suppose it is good in a way that it happened early in the tour because if it had happened after Christmas I wouldn’t be playing now. It happened pre-Christmas, so end of January, beginning of February, I was able to go out to South Africa and do a bit of work with Gary Kirsten in Cape Town, which I found hugely beneficial.”

Kirsten, the former Proteas opener, took on a player who had endured five successive single-figure scores for England in the summer, and who Wisden critiqued: “Analysts noted Westley’s tendency – well-known on the county circuit – to play round his front pad. He aimed straighter after that, but at the expense of his leg-side game, and looked half the batsman, repeatedly falling lbw.”

Westley admits: “There were things that had crept into my game over the last 18 months, so we tinkered with that so I could produce a fuller face [of the bat], which is something he picked up on.

Tom Westley and Alastair Cook of Essex celebrate with the County Championship Trophy (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)Tom Westley and Alastair Cook of Essex celebrate with the County Championship Trophy (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

“He actually said at the end of the time I spent with him that he couldn’t see any noticeable flaws in my game. In that sense it was good to work with someone new and chat about my batting.

“Sometimes you don’t have the time to make a few changes, drastic changes even, you’re just chipping away. So it was quite a productive winter.”

As fate would have it, Westley comes face to face at Southampton today with his successor – and predecessor several times removed – in the England No3 slot in the Hampshire captain James Vince. Comparisons are likely to be made.

“I understand that people are obviously going to talk about how we get on, and I suppose from the media aspect it adds a bit of spice to the game,” says Westley, 29.

England's Tom Westley hits four runs against the West Indies at Lord's (pic Adam Davy/PA)England's Tom Westley hits four runs against the West Indies at Lord's (pic Adam Davy/PA)

“But I think I’ve been good for a number of years now, and not looked sideways at what other people are doing.

“For me personally, it is just another game of cricket for Essex, one in which I hope we can repeat what happened down there last year when we had an amazing comeback and won. The decision about selection is out of my hands.”

Speaking of hands, Westley is comfortable again with bat in glove, and has a first-class sixty and a couple of forties in the scorebook already; fielding with a swollen digit is another matter.

“I’ve taken myself out of the slips for the time being because I don’t want the finger to flare up, or anything more sinister happen to it,” he adds.

“I’ve been guesting at mid-on for a while. My target for the season used to be to take as many catches as I could, but it looks as if that’s going to be out the window!”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Romford Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Romford Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Romford Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Romford Sports News

10:00

Coasters lost 2-0 at Victoria Road in March

Yesterday, 13:00

Veteran manager signs up for stint on reality TV show

Yesterday, 12:00

Everyone Active Raiders NIHL 2 forward George Gell feels as if the side are now in full swing after sealing a comfortable 10-1 victory against Lee Valley Lions.

Yesterday, 10:00

Defender had impressed for Essex club in early part of season, but has been out of favour in recent weeks

Mon, 17:00

The Cricklefield club have appointed Alex Goldstone as interim manager after Michael Walther decided to join Basildon United

Anderson equaliser ends frustrating afternoon at Huddersfield

PROMOTED CONTENT

From November, The Mercury in Romford begins to celebrate Christmas. The mall has plenty of gift ideas, fun events and activities for everyone

Vauxhall has completed its sport utility vehicle range with the third, and largest, Grandland X. We put the SUV, now available at Tony LeVoi in Romford, to the test.

“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining,” so the saying goes. So if some warm weather is making your conservatory uninhabitable, think about replacing its roof with a flat one and adding a roof lantern instead.

Newsletter Sign Up

Romford Recorder twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists

Education Promo

News from your area

Competitions

A Romford photographer impressed the judges of a national creative photography competition with a picture of a stunning sunset.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now