Liam Dawson lurks within the wings as England slim World Cup choices

10:40 AM ET

Matt Curler

CloseMatt Curler is a contract cricket journalist. @mroller98

After a winter of match-winning performances with each bat and ball for his numerous T20 franchises, Liam Dawson could possibly be forgiven for being assured about his World Cup possibilities.

A collection of characteristically strong shows together with his left-arm spin for Comilla Victorians preceded a handful of eye-catching knocks within the Pakistan Tremendous League, together with a match-winning fifty that will need to have reminded England’s selectors of his potential as a batsman.

However regardless of admitting he’d like to play within the event, England’s Mr. Reliable insists that his focus is on Hampshire in the meanwhile.

Groups should submit their provisional 15-man World Cup squads by April 30, and whereas the narrative across the battle for positions has targeted on their numerous seam choices, Dawson appears set for a straight shoot-out with Joe Denly for the backup spot as a spin-bowling allrounder.

“I have never actually considered [World Cup selection]” he insists. “It is not one thing that is on my thoughts. I’ve received to focus on what I do for Hampshire.

“If a name does come then that is sensible, but when not, then life goes on. We have got plenty of 50-over cricket right here for Hampshire in a giant season, which I am actually enthusiastic about – I am not going to lose any sleep over it.”

After he was named within the squad to tour Sri Lanka in the beginning of the winter, Dawson will need to have been tempted to clear his diary for the seven weeks from the top of Might. He was picked alongside Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid for the primary two ODIs of the collection, however a aspect pressure dominated him out for the remainder of the tour, with Denly named as his substitute.

Come December, when the touring occasion was introduced for the West Indies collection, Dawson was match however omitted, in order that England may give Denly a better look. Denly went unused within the ODI collection, however pressed his case with a gentle 30 and two wickets within the T20 collection.

“It was irritating to get injured in Sri Lanka,” Dawson admits. “However it’s a part of the sport. You have to come again from it, and fortunately I had a good winter after that.”

Liam Dawson continued his spectacular kind Getty Photos

Certainly, Dawson was not sat at residence resting on his laurels. As an alternative, he was serving to each franchises he represented to the finals of the Bangladesh Premier League and Pakistan Tremendous League, and proved his price with the bat within the latter specifically.

“I bowled fairly properly [in Bangladesh],” he says. “I did not get many runs, however there have been some robust pitches in Dhaka. And I used to be very lifelike – with the abroad gamers we had, I knew I wasn’t going to play each sport, however I used to be pleased to play six [seven] video games, and I might prefer to assume that I contributed in these.

“Pakistan was electrical. The environment was sensible, and thrilling to play in entrance of. I had a fairly strong event, a few match-winning performances, which is all the time what you need for the crew, so I used to be proud of that.”

Dawson’s potential to vary video games with the bat has not had a lot airtime at worldwide degree to this point. He hit a dogged 66 not out on Check debut in Chennai again in 2016, however has confronted simply 25 balls in limited-overs internationals.

But when England have been unaware of his potential as a late-innings hitter, they certainly find out about it now. He was Hampshire’s main scorer within the Blast final 12 months, albeit in a poor season, and confirmed an adaptability for Peshawar that helped his aspect out of some tight spots. That got here after enlisting the providers of a specialist T20 batting coach, Julian Wooden, for a few classes to enhance his power-hitting: clearly, Dawson cares about self-improvement.

“With the alternatives I’ve had for England,” he says, “I’ve performed as a bowler, however that is nice – it is clearly good which you could get into the crew with a sure string to your bow. It would not trouble me. I do know that I am an allrounder – I’ve performed plenty of one-day cricket in my profession and I’ve achieved pretty properly. It would not matter what different individuals may assume.”

One other issue that performs into Dawson’s favour is that he will probably be taking part in cricket. Denly will miss the primary two months of the English season to fulfil his IPL contract, however Kolkata Knight Riders’ abroad gamers have powered them to 2 wins of their first two video games, and there aren’t any ensures that Denly will get on the pitch.

In the meantime, Dawson will probably be attempting to assist Hampshire retain their Royal London Cup title. He solely performed three video games on their technique to the trophy final summer season, with Lions commitments breaking apart the summer season, however can count on to play a key position of their marketing campaign this time round.

“We have got the identical crew [as last year]. A number of younger lads have come by way of right here. Lots of people are excited concerning the competitors, and hopefully the children will help get us by way of to the knockout levels.”

After all, that head-to-head could not come to move: England could throw a shock and decide three back-up seamers, or one other reserve batsman alongside Alex Hales.

But when Dawson did get the nod, he would let few individuals down. England have a behavior of selecting strong, unremarkable sorts as their left-arm spinner – assume Stephen Parry, Michael Yardy, and Danny Briggs – however Dawson is a boundary-hitter too, and distinctive within the discipline. If Moeen Ali goes down injured, then put the chilly sweats on maintain: England have a ready-made substitute primed to go.

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