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England’s James Bracey never considered a wicket-keeper chance before Ben Foakes injury |  Cricket News


James Bracey of Gloucestershire is in line to make his England debut as a wicket keeper in the first test against New Zealand at Lord’s, which begins Wednesday; watch live coverage on Sky Sports Cricket

Last update: 05/31/21 3:40 p.m.

James Bracey is expected to make his test debut as England wicket keeper when they face New Zealand at Lord’s (Getty Images)

James Bracey admits the prospect of a tryout start as a wicket keeper was never “on his radar” until he learned of Ben Foakes’ abnormal injury in the pre-season series. ‘England v New Zealand.

The 24-year-old Gloucestershire player – an England batting reserve throughout last year – is expected to take the gloves off to kick off his international career when the first test begins at Lord’s on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Cricket.

Bracey had considered making his Test debut as a top-notch specialist batsman, but Foakes’ hamstring injury – suffered when he slipped after playing for Surrey just over a week ago – almost makes certain that he will replace Behind Strains against Black Caps. .

“When I heard from Ben it was a bit of a shock,” Bracey said. “I wasn’t really on my radar to be there as a goalie.

England’s James Bracey never considered a wicket-keeper chance before Ben Foakes injury |  Cricket News

England originally called James Bracey to the test squad as a replacement batsman last year (PA Images)

“Obviously I was there as one of the two, but Ben was very likely to take the gloves off. When I got the call it didn’t really sink right away, but once I got there. arrived in London it started to become a distinct possibility.

“I’m really excited, but drained for Ben. I’ve had a lot of times this winter, trying to figure out how I’m on the squad and how I’m going to get this opportunity.

“A lot of times it happens when you don’t expect it and I hope the time is right. I took advantage of the fact that Ben had a freak accident and this is an opportunity for me not just to show what I can do with the gloves, but the bat. “

With first-choice wicket keeper Jos Buttler, alongside Jonny Bairstow, who was originally due to appear in the Indian Premier League – now postponed to the fall – Foakes was in line to win his ninth Test cap at Lord’s.

England’s James Bracey never considered a wicket-keeper chance before Ben Foakes injury |  Cricket News

Bracey (right) as substitute outfielder in England’s 2020 home test series (PA Images)

Instead, the injured glover provided a valuable source of information for his likely replacement, whose only previous experience of keeping a wicket at Lord’s came in the Gloucestershire County Championship win over Middlesex in early May.

“Ben has been awesome to me over the past 48 hours,” Bracey said. “He was very helpful and gave me some advice in terms of respecting the different bowlers and the challenges you might face.

“In Asia this winter, I stuck with a lot of bowlers in training. That’s why I reached out to Ben, because there are little things you don’t get from not keeping people in them. games – this is really essential to identify that everyone is different to respect.

“I’ve worked really hard to keep my life for the last two years since I came on the Lions tour, with the other goalies and coaches, and I think it’s really good.

England’s James Bracey never considered a wicket-keeper chance before Ben Foakes injury |  Cricket News

England’s James Bracey never considered a wicket-keeper chance before Ben Foakes injury |  Cricket News 1:03
England test prospect Ollie Robinson said he has done a lot of research on New Zealand batsmen – including Black Caps captain Kane Williamson.

England test prospect Ollie Robinson said he has done a lot of research on New Zealand batsmen – including Black Caps captain Kane Williamson.

“Obviously Gloucestershire’s attack is different from England’s and it’s going to be different in terms of the pace of the pitch and the slope at Lord’s, sometimes you have to work with small angles.

“But that’s all the bowlers, Rooty and the other guys have given me little advice on. I’m sure when it comes to Wednesday I’ll be in a good position and as long as I’m showing up. being a good goalkeeper will definitely help me move forward. “

Assuming England hand the gloves to Bracey, the southpaw will likely give up the batting order to face his dual role – potentially six or even seven instead of the first three pitches initially reserved for him.

England’s James Bracey never considered a wicket-keeper chance before Ben Foakes injury |  Cricket News

Ben Foakes injury opened the door for Bracey to take over as wicket keeper for the Lord’s test

He added: “I’m ready for the fact that if I play I might hit at six or seven, but I think with my skills I can play that role too. I’m not very used to playing. batting order, but I’m confident I’ll jump into that.

“When it comes to batting I like to be tough and fight. I’m not afraid to put on those tough yards and go through some tough spells that I know I’m sure to encounter when playing cricket. test.

“We know New Zealand is going to put pressure on us and in these scenarios I feel like I can thrive and be successful.”

Watch the first Test between England and New Zealand, at Lord’s, live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am Wednesday.

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