Westley hopeful for a ‘few good partnerships’ with Cook


Tom Westley is hoping he and Essex teammate Alastair Cook will be able replicate their county form together when he joins up with the England squad for the third Test against South Africa next week.

The 28-year-old Westley is in line to make his Test debut against the Proteas after being called up to replace the injured Gary Ballance for the Test that starts at the Oval on next Thursday.

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The right-handed Westley has scored 478 runs in the Championship this season, including two centuries, at an average of 53.11, and is set to bat at number three in an England batting order that was exposed in the second Test at Trent Bridge.

Westley called Cook an “unbelievable role model” for everyone at Essex and said the former national team captain was one of the first people to call him when he was selected.

Speaking to the ECB website, Westley revealed: “Cooky called me just to say congratulations, the usual stuff between team-mates – if he could help in any way, he’d be on the end of a phone.”

“He was in the car with his daughter Elsie actually, so she said congratulations to me as well. I’ve learned so much from Cooky over the years. One of the big things is his demeanour, not just as a batsman but also as a person.

“He’s an unbelievable role model, and after seeing him close-up with Essex for so long I’m looking forward to seeing him with England.

“We’ve had quite a few good partnerships with Essex, so hopefully we can do the same for England.”

The four-match Test series between England and the Proteas is level at one-all with two matches to play.