It suits my game – Harry Brook at home in England’s Test side

Harry Brook believes England’s attacking approach in Test cricket suits him down to the ground after a stunning start to his career.

It has been a whirlwind 13 months for the 24-year-old Yorkshireman, who made his international debut in a T20 against West Indies in Bridgetown last January.

Since then he has carved out a place in all three formats, won a T20 World Cup, made four centuries in six Test appearances and came within 11 runs of becoming just the second English batter to score four tons in four matches after smashing 89 off 81 balls last month in New Zealand.

“It’s been a good year,” agreed Brook. “I never thought I’d be saying I’m a World Cup winner, or having four Test hundreds.

“I think I’m very lucky to have come into this Test side especially and the way we’re trying to play and the positive brand of cricket that we’re trying to play and entertain the crowd, it suits my game more than any, really.”

Brook’s destination following the New Zealand tour was unlike that of any of his team-mates: his ticket was booked for Florida, where he took part in spring training with Major League Baseball’s St Louis Cardinals as part of his new role as an MLB ambassador.

“I’d never watched a game of baseball before until I went out,” admitted Brook. “That’s why I enjoyed it so much.

“The technology is ridiculous, all the things they had set up because obviously the ball is thrown outside your body and I’m used to hitting it through point.

Brook became the first player to score 800 runs in his first nine Test innings
Harry Brook became the first player to score 800 runs in his first nine Test innings (Adam Davy/PA)

“They had all the TVs and iPads up where I’d usually hit the ball. I was hitting it quite close to where all the expensive stuff was so they were getting a little bit scared.

“We got there at half past seven, they had a game at one o’clock, and they were all in the gym. They had a five-hour training session before the game. We’re rocking up about an hour before in Test cricket. The amount of training, technology and analysing they go into is remarkable.”

Brook made his Test debut in September and by February had already become the first player to score 800 runs in his first nine Test innings, and is on course to become the fastest ever to the 1,000 mark.

That might suggest Brook is not exactly in need of more batting practice, but he was still eager to absorb a few tips from the Cardinals, who will face arch rivals Chicago Cubs at the London Stadium in a two-game series from June 24-25.

He said: “All the lads there were stacked, they were massive, and they were saying all the power comes from your legs. So if I was going to practice anything now I’d practice getting a stronger base and using my legs for more power when I’m trying to hit. ”

While Brook is busy promoting MLB’s return to the UK following its 2019 debut – the second London Series was postponed due to the pandemic – his own sport is trying to make inroads Stateside.

Cricket is one of the sports vying against baseball for inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic programme, with the ICC proposing a six-team T20 competition, while the USA is also poised to host the Men’s T20 World Cup in 2024.

T20 tournament Major League Cricket, meanwhile, will launch its inaugural season with six US-based teams in July, with the first draft taking place on March 19 in Houston.

Returning to his sport of choice, Brook promised there is more to come from himself and England who begin their quest to reclaim the Ashes at Edgbaston on June 16.

He said: “Personally I’ve obviously done well in the last few months but I feel like I can still improve a lot of my game, so I’m sure everyone in the team can as well.

“The World Cup win (was the highlight of my England career) so far, definitely. I’ve got no words. It was so good, I cannot describe that feeling. Obviously we’ve got the Ashes coming up this summer. If we get a win there, that could be a close contender.”