England batter Harry Brook believes he is a more powerful hitter than in 2022
Harry Brook believes he is a more powerful hitter than he was in his breakout year in 2022 and is eager to show he can “dominate” in international cricket.
Brook was the star performer during day one of England’s Test warm-up against a New Zealand XI in Hamilton, battering 97 in just 71 deliveries including nine sixes and seven fours as the tourists piled up 465 all out in less than 70 overs.
The Yorkshireman peppered the grass banks at Seddon Park with some mighty blows, hitting sweetly down the ground and violently into the leg-side, and at one stage unloaded five successive maximums against the unfortunate leg-spinner Adi Ashok.
He ended last year on top of the world, named player of the series after a hat-trick of hundreds on the tour of Pakistan and banking a bumper GBP 1.3million IPL deal with Sunrisers Hyderabad, but already feels like he is reaching new heights.
“I think I’ve got a little bit stronger and I feel like I’m hitting the ball a bit harder,” he said of his exploits.
“Whether that’s just because I’ve been given the freedom to go out and play in a positive way, take the match on, or whether I’ve actually got stronger, I just feel like I’m hitting the ball a lot harder than I was before.
“You feel like you can go out and almost do anything in this setup, it’s really fun playing under these guys.”
Brook’s rise to prominence has been rapid and rousing. While 12 months ago he was a novice at international level, well known at Headingley but an unknown quantity beyond, he has since carved out a place in all three formats with England, become a T20 world champion and will be a marked man in the IPL given his hefty price tag.
“That took a while to sink in to be honest. It’s a dream of mine to go and play in the IPL but I probably wasn’t expecting to go for that much. Every little helps!” he said.
“Life has changed a fair bit. Last year was probably the best year of my life, lifestyle and cricket-wise, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Standing here saying I’m a World Cup winner is unbelievable and nobody can ever take that away from me. It was a phenomenal year. Hopefully I can come back this year in full flow and dominate.”
Brook was batting when New Zealand Test captain Tim Southee arrived at the ground to check in on the opposition, taking a seat alongside England coach and former Kiwi team-mate Brendon McCullum.
If Southee was hoping to spot any weaknesses in the English line-up, there was little to gain from watching Brook, who did not even clock his presence.
“I didn’t know he was here to be honest,” he admitted.
“It would have been a good little insight for him to come and watch because he probably hasn’t seen much of a few players. I’m sure he’ll have his plans but when we get to the Test series I’ll try to counter act them as much as I can.”
Ben Stokes could bowl in fourth Test as England look to level series
Stokes has not bowled competitively since early July and initially had no plans to do so in this series.
England batter Ollie Pope unfazed by ‘interesting’ Ranchi pitch for fourth Test
The 26-year-old believes the surface doing a fair bit “definitely brings us into the game”.
Cricket’s economic influence in India – a comprehensive analysis
An interesting read.
India batter Virat Kohli announces birth of child on social media
The 35-year-old had made himself unavailable for the ongoing series against England due to personal reasons.
I have plenty going on – Colin Graves explains not apologising to Azeem Rafiq
Graves officially returned as Yorkshire chairman on February 9.
India set to rest star paceman Jasprit Bumrah for fourth Test against England
Bumrah is the leading wicket-taker in the series with 17 dismissals at a stunning average of 13.64.
ECB lacked ‘backbone’ for not calling out Lord Botham’s criticism of ICEC report
The former England all-rounder and Durham chairman described last summer’s findings on discrimination in cricket as “nonsense”.
Alice Capsey eyeing World Cup glory as teen looks to build on rollercoaster 2023
The 19-year-old has added plenty to her ‘toolbox’ after World Cup and Ashes experiences in 2023.
Will England change ‘Bazball’ approach after heavy third Test defeat to India?
There have been suggestions that England’s aggressive approach needs to be refined.
Brendon McCullum adamant England will not change methods despite huge defeat
The tourists slipped 2-1 behind in the five-match series.