Abell a "Better and More Rounded" Cricketer after Winter Experience

Tom Abell has described himself as a “better and more rounded cricketer” following an exciting winter playing in Bangladesh and Australia.

And the 26-year-old batsman does not rule out employing his bowling skills across all formats of the game in an effort to enhance his ambition to one day play for England.

It is only over the past two seasons that Abell has emerged as a more than useful seamer in four-day cricket, claiming 37 first-class wickets, despite using himself very sparingly.

Now, with encouragement from Jason Kerr, he appears to be fast developing the confidence to bowl regularly in white-ball games too.

That follows two major boosts to Abell’s cricketing education since the end of last season, first playing for Rangpur Rangers in the Bangladesh Premier League and then for England Lions in Australia.

“It was a memorable winter for me,” he said. “Testing myself against some the best T20 players in the world on some challenging pitches in Bangladesh was a great learning experience in itself.

“Then to be in my hotel room and get a call from James Taylor telling me I would be in an England Lions squad for the first time was something I will always remember.

“I bowled as well as batted in both Bangladesh and Australia, having to adapt to very different conditions, and it went pretty well.

“While batting will always be my stronger suit, I do want to further develop my bowling. I desperately want to play for the full England side one day and having a second string to my bow can only help fulfil that ambition.”

Abell has already demonstrated an immense capacity to learn and develop as a cricketer. After being given a leadership position in December 2016 at the age of only 22, he endured a tough first season leading a team of more experienced players.

Since then Abell has blossomed into the role, while also working hard to progress from a textbook four-day batsman to an innovative, fast-scoring T20 player, finishing last season’s Vitality Blast campaign with 101 not out against Middlesex at the Cooper Associates Ground, Taunton.

He first announced himself as a useful seamer in 2018, taking 19 Championship wickets including a hat-trick against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, all three batsmen falling to outswingers and catches in the slips.

Last season Abell claimed 13 victims, including career-best figures of four for 39 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, but limited himself to only just over 100 overs in the 14 games.

Kerr, one of the England coaches in Australia, watched Abell take two for 22 in the first innings of the first-ever Lions win over Australia A at the MCG and has no doubts about his ability to become a batting all-rounder.

“Tom proved again that he can swing the ball both ways, which is a great asset,” he said. “Bowling in T20 is so much about confidence and, as he develops belief in his skills, he will cause batsmen problems in white, as well as red-ball cricket.”

Please note this interview was carried out on via the ECB Reporters Network.

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