Dom delighted by series win
It’s been a remarkable few weeks for Dom Bess.
Just before Christmas the 22-year-old was called in to the England Test squad to act as injury/illness cover and now he has played a major role in England’s 3-1 series win in South Africa.
We spoke with Dom earlier today to discuss his whirlwind few weeks. “A month ago, I’d never have thought that I would be here,” he said. “I feel very privileged to have got the opportunity but obviously I’m gutted for Leachy. To be a part of a 3-1 Test series win in South Africa is amazing and it’s something that I’ve worked really hard for.
“To walk out on the field for England again was very special, especially in Cape Town. It’s a very famous ground with a big history and there were thousands and thousands of people there along with the Barmy Army. It was an unbelievable opportunity for me and one that I think I took. There wasn’t that much spin there, but I feel like I was able to control the game quite nicely for the seamers.
“The drama of the last session was incredible and it’s probably the best game that I’ve been involved in. It was a phenomenal game with some proper Test match cricket. The last 20 minutes were carnage to be honest and Stokesy took us to an unbelievable win.
“Any cricketer will tell you that their ultimate dream is to play Test match cricket and games like that highlight why you want to play Test cricket.”
Next up for Dom was the third Test in Port Elizabeth where he excelled, taking five for 51 in South Africa’s first innings.
“The pitch was spinning and that meant that there was more opportunity for me to show that I could hold one end,” he said. “Then, when it started spinning, I showed that I could attack as well and take poles. That was definitely the highlight of my career so far. It was just coming out really nicely.”
Dom believes that the future of the England Test side is looking bright following the performances of a number of the younger players in the series.
“The young players performed really well, and I think that’s down to the fact that we have experience,” he explained. “I think the combination of experienced players and the young lads worked really well and we all get on really well, which is key. Under Joe Root the culture and the way the team’s going is definitely down to how he wants to do things. The culture we’ve got with this group of players is great and everyone is driving each other forward. There’s a lot of healthy competition for places and the balance of the side is really good. The senior players are really good and they actually talked to me a lot in Cape Town and I think the England Test side is in a great position.”
How did he feel when he was left out of the side for the final Test?
“Obviously, I was disappointed not to be playing in the last Test,” Dom said. “But that was down to conditions rather than my performance. As a spinner you sometimes have to miss out and that’s just part and parcel of the game. It’s not about me though, it’s about the team and what gives the team the best chance of winning. You put your disappointment to one side and do all you can to help the lads prepare for the Test match. At the end of the day we’ve won a series 3-1 and I’ve been a part of that. If you’d have offered that to me six weeks ago, I’d have bitten your hand off!”
It was announced late last year that Vernon Philander had agreed personal terms with Somerset ahead of the 2020 season. What was it like playing against him?
“He’s played over 60 Tests and has an average in the low 20s, so he’s a world class performer,” Dom said. “He got me out first ball, so I’ve been on the receiving end of a good pill from him. Hopefully, I’ll be watching a lot of batters nicking off and getting hit on the front pad by him this season. South Africa’s loss is certainly Somerset’s gain.”
Dom will soon be heading to Australia to join up with the red-ball leg of the England Lions tour.
“Jason Kerr and a few of the Somerset lads will be out there which will be good,” he explained. “Hopefully I can go down there, perform well and hopefully get a call for Sri Lanka. It’s certainly exciting times.”
Finally, Dom was inundated with messages following his performance in Port Elizabeth. What was that like?
“It’s always wonderful getting good messages from friends, family and supporters,” he said. “Somerset fans have always been very good to me and it’s always nice to get messages from them. Hopefully they were happy with how I performed over here.”
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