Josh Tongue proud of England debut and thriving in ‘no-pressure’ environment
Josh Tongue loved being part of England’s “chilled” environment but is not getting ahead of himself despite an Ashes call-up.
The Worcestershire seamer was a late addition to England’s Test squad for their four-day match with Ireland and ended up debuting at Lord’s with James Anderson and Ollie Robinson rested.
Tongue impressed throughout, hitting 91mph in an enforcer role on day one before he claimed five wickets in the second innings to put his name on the honours board.
Saturday saw the 25-year-old selected in England’s 16-man group for the first two Tests against Australia and while he relished his time under Brendon McCullum and Ben Stokes, he is eager to stay level-headed.
“I’m really proud. It’s a special moment for myself,” Togue reflected after his five for 66 helped England to a 10-wicket victory inside three days.
“Obviously I didn’t get any wickets in the first innings, so it was a bit of pressure took off me. I just enjoyed the moment.
“I just used my extra pace and bounce (in the aggressor role), I’m happy to do whatever the skipper needs.
“Being around this group, it’s a very exciting time to be an England cricketer and obviously supporter as well.
“I knew this environment would improve myself and my game.
“It’s not daunting. Everyone is very welcoming, Brendon is really nice. It’s very chilled, there is no pressure on you at all, (you) just go out and do the business and enjoy yourself.
“I (have) tried to stay as present as I can much as I can, try to impress and if I get that Ashes call it’s a bonus. I’m looking forward to being in the squad for the first two.”
Tongue has enjoyed quite the comeback during the past year after a previous 15-month absence from the game with a nerve problem in his shoulder saw him contemplate retirement.
After 11 County Championship wickets this season, including Australia’s Steve Smith in a game against Sussex, he received his Test bow and in the process helped his dad’s friend Tim Piper win GBP 50,000 on a bet placed that Tongue would play red-ball cricket for England.
Stuart Broad, Ollie Pope and Joe Root have all spoken glowingly about how Tongue fitted seamlessly into the England set-up and his captain was impressed with the point of difference he proved to their bowling attack.
But Tongue will not join the majority of the group in Scotland this week for golf on their days off and will instead head back to Worcestershire, who will hope to convince the seamer to sign a new deal given his current terms expire at the end of this season.
He added: “I’m going to go back to Worcester, spend time with the family and get to Edgbaston (for June 12).
“Worcestershire do get me to do that (enforcer role) as well. I’m probably the only out-and-out fast bowler at Worcestershire so having me there is crucial, especially when it gets a bit flat and there isn’t much happening out there.
“I have been there since I was six years old, going through the age groups. I know that I have done them proud and I’m sure, hopefully, there’s more to come.
“I haven’t thought about (my future) at all yet. I just want to enjoy my cricket, because of my injury I just want to be out on the park.”
ECB set to publish response to damning report on discrimination in cricket
Richard Thompson, chair of the ECB, unreservedly apologised when the ICEC’s findings were published in June.
Sam Hain reveals sleepless night before impressive England debut
The Warwickshire batter scored 89 to set up a win over Ireland in the second ODI.
Will Jacks pleased to take his chance to impress in England success
The batter made a dazzling 94 off 88 balls in the one-day international win over Ireland at Trent Bridge.
Sam Hain and Will Jacks star as new-look England beat Ireland at Trent Bridge
Teenage leg-spinner Rehan Ahmed collected four for 54 as Ireland were all out for 286.
Will Jacks and Sam Hain shine as England post 334 against Ireland
Jacks made 94 off 88 balls while Hain hit 89 in the second one-day international.
Surrey close on title as rivals Essex beaten by Liam Dawson-inspired Hampshire
The reigning champions are 20 points clear of second-placed Essex heading into the final round of fixtures.
Ben Duckett at peace with World Cup omission and looking forward to India series
The batter has switched focus to his next duel.
Durham are Division Two champions after bowling out Worcestershire
With promotion already secured last week, Durham required a maximum of five points to clinch top spot.
Phil Salt knows there is plenty to play for ahead of the World Cup
Salt’s aggressive ball-striking and ability to double up as a wicketkeeper has earned him plenty of interest on the franchise circuit.
Jason Roy rejects England call as Tom Kohler-Cadmore added to squad
The experienced opener was ruthlessly dropped from the squad for next month’s World Cup despite being named in the provisional 15.