Cricket

Bess eager to make most of England Test chance

2018-05-22 17:23

London - Dom Bess has insisted the prospect of playing his first match at Lord's in a Test for England won't get the better of him.

The closest the 20-year-old off-spinner has got to a game at the 'home of cricket' was when he was 12th man for visitors Somerset in a County Championship match against Middlesex last season.

But an injury to county colleague Jack Leach, who has broken a thumb, led to Bess's inclusion in a 12-man squad for the series opener against Pakistan and he could well be in the XI when the first Test starts at Lord's on Thursday.

Bess only made his first-class debut, against Pakistan at Taunton two years ago, and has since played a mere 16 first-class matches.

But asked if he felt ready for Test cricket, the Somerset bowler told reporters at Lord's on Tuesday: "Of course I do. There's a lot of chat about me only playing 16 first-class matches, but I always believe that everything happens for a reason.

"I think it is obviously a freak accident that happened to Jack Leach and I am gutted for him - I saw him the other day. But when I got the phone call, I am just going to take this opportunity."

He added: "It is more for me the opportunity - I see it as a great opportunity. If I put pressure on myself as well, then there is only going to be a spiral."

Leach made his Test debut against New Zealand earlier this year and Bess said he had spoken to his team-mate about playing for England at the highest level.

"He absolutely loved (his debut) and I saw when he came back - him and Craig (Overton) - when you get a taste of it, you want it even more," Bess said.

"I really got that vibe off Jack - and as soon as I've been here now, I want it. I want it more and more. I think that's a very good trait to have.

"(Leach said) 'You're here for a reason, and you've just got to adapt now to the level up'. I hope that's something I can do well."

Meanwhile Bess was delighted to be soaking up the atmosphere of Lord's, with that 12th man stint his only previous visit to Lord's - a ground he never attended just as a cricket spectator.

"It will be a very special day if I get my chance to play out here.

"I've never been to the home dressing-room (before), so to have a look at the (honours) board was very special.

"I hope one day I can get my name up there."

Last week saw Bess reveal how he had answered a telephone call confirming his England call-up while shopping in furniture store Ikea.

And on Tuesday he said he'd still to complete his intended purchase of a sofa.

"I need to get hold of Ikea, I really do, because I'm in need of some sofas," he said. "As soon as (I took the call from national selector Ed Smith), I was straight out of that place to phone mum and dad.

"I need to have a quiet word with Ikea, because I think they got a bit of press about it as well. I need a sofa!"

Read more on:    england  |  cricket
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