Jack puts success down to team effort
Jack Brooks is certainly enjoying his cricket at the moment.
The “headband warrior” has significantly contributed to Somerset’s two comprehensive wins in the Bob Willis Trophy and also tops the Club’s batting averages.
Although he’s delighted by how things have gone so far this season, he puts that success down to the team as a whole.
“There are some great methods and processes in place here that have allowed us to win those games,” he said. “I don’t think that we’ve been at our best so far and there’s definitely more to come.
“It’s been enjoyable so far and I just love contributing. I don’t think I’ve bowled that well yet if I’m honest, so it was nice to pick up a few wickets at Northants. That has helped to boost my confidence. The runs are just a bonus really, particularly when you come in at 11.
“The way I play can be a bit unorthodox at times. Things won’t always come off but it’s been nice to be able to help the team out.”
Jack has made headlines for his batting so far this season after making a rapid 72 against Glamorgan and top scoring in Somerset’s first innings at Northamptonshire. However, his prowess with the bat isn’t something new for a man who has a First Class Hundred to his name.
“I do like to remind people now and again that if you have a First Class hundred then you must have a bit of ability,” he joked. “I was batting at nine then, but I don’t think there’s much chance of me batting at nine here. We’ve got such a strong batting line up. Josh started his career as a batter and we know what Craig and Jamie can do. Then there’s Lewis to come back in and Roelof has got some big scores to his name, so I’m not likely to bat above these guys.
“I know what my role is and I know where my scoring areas are. I just want to be as consistent as I can in order to help the team out. I can have a bit of a laugh about it at the moment and there’s been people in the changing room calling me an all-rounder and stuff like that, but I know how quickly things can change. I won’t be getting out of my box about it just yet because cricket can bite you on the backside quite quickly. The key thing is to be contributing to the team winning games.
“My main job is to be a wicket taker. I haven’t opened the bowling yet this season and my goal is to get that new ball in my hand. The guys who have been doing that are doing a really good job. Josh has bowled extremely well and kept it really tight whilst Craig is taking wickets for fun. I’ve just got to chip in where possible. I know what I’m capable of and I know that I haven’t bowled at my best yet.”
Jack has experience of playing in successful sides, so how does he rate the current Somerset attack?
“I think it’s the best in the country and it was probably the best in the country last year too,” he said. “We’ve got an unbelievable attack with all bases covered. Jamie, Craig and Lewis are all on the fringes of the England team whilst Jack and Dom have played for England several times now. Josh has a huge amount of experience and has played international cricket for Scotland. There’s a great clarity about what everyone needs to do and everyone seems to be coming into their peak. It must be a real selection headache for the captain and coach when everyone’s available.”
Jack joined Somerset from Yorkshire ahead of the 2019 season, but injury hampered his maiden campaign with the Club. How pleased is to finally be able to get out on the park and show the Somerset Members and supporters what he can do?
“There’s certainly an element of relief,” he explained. “I really wanted to come in and hit the ground running last year. Early on in the season I think I was just trying too hard and then the injury came at a really bad time. I managed a nice little five-wicket haul at Guildford though which really helped me to feel settled in.
“When we came back from lockdown I felt really refreshed mentally and I kept myself in good condition physically. I feel really fit and strong this year and I’m really excited about what this team can achieve going forward. Obviously, this year it’s just nice to be back playing after everything that’s happened. The season looks a little different but there’s still trophies there to compete for and people want to put their names forward for England selection. A lot of our lads fall in to that second category and I’m just enjoying being in such a competitive environment.”
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