New Delhi, Jan 13: Ahead of an important five-match Test tour of India, England fast-bowler Gus Atkinson believes the way the current team plays in the format suits his game perfectly. Atkinson has made 12 white-ball appearances for England, but is uncapped at the Test level.
Atkinson claimed 20 wickets in five County Championship matches last summer at an average of 20.20 as Surrey claimed back-to-back titles. His genuine raw pace has meant that England have included him on the tour of India, starting in Hyderabad on January 25, alongside James Anderson, Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood.
“It’s been really good. Now I’m looking forward to playing under Ben Stokes and Baz McCullum. The way the Test team have been playing suits my game perfectly. I’m very excited about what lies ahead. India and the Ashes are the two tours you most want to go on and it would be incredible to win over the next few weeks.
“Maybe it was a confidence thing when I wasn’t playing regular cricket but I think my pace comes naturally. I’m definitely giving my all and feel like I get a lot of pace from the last few steps of my run up. Then I have a whippy arm. I don’t feel like I’m putting loads of force on my body now,” said Atkinson to Daily Mail, before heading to Abu Dhabi for England’s pre-tour camp.
He made a mention of how his current county club Surrey made him believe that he had it in him to play for England in all formats. ‘Surrey have been very good to me. They saw in me what I didn’t early on. Alec Stewart says he remembers the first time he saw me bowling before I signed and that I had something about me and could get real pace off the wicket.”
“People at the club would tell me they wanted me to go all the way, to play in all formats and be picked by England. I’d say, ‘Well yes, obviously I want to, that’s my dream. Maybe it will happen one day.’ But for it all to happen now is not something I would have expected 12 months ago.”
In first-class cricket, Atkinson has picked up 45 wickets in 14 matches at an average of 26.64. Atkinson also recalled how his mother Caroline, who died in a car crash in 2020, encouraged him to play cricket, including reaching out to his county club Surrey.
“My mum pushed me forward almost behind my back. She’d get in touch with Surrey and make sure I was still in the loop when perhaps I might have been falling behind the others."
"Once she passed away my career could have gone one or two ways and I wanted to take it in the direction she would have wanted. And that I wanted as well. So to be in this position is very special.” (IANS)