Jennings: I feel in a very good place

England tour to Sri Lanka 2018

Keaton Jennings says that he feels like he is in a good place psychologically despite his horror summer with the bat.

Jennings scored just 192 runs across ten innings in the home Tests against Pakistan but he carved out a gritty 45 in a rain-hit Test warm-up against a Sri Lanka Board XI.

The opener has a burning desire to get runs though and wasn’t satisfied with the knock but he is hopeful that he will be able to contribute if called upon to play the first Test against Sri Lanka which gets underway in Galle on Tuesday.

“I wouldn’t say it felt better,” he said. “It’s nice to get a couple of runs underneath your belt. At the end of the day, Tuesday becomes crunch time for everyone. Regardless how many runs you’ve got in the last two years, really. Tuesday’s the day you want to perform.”

Jennings doesn’t take the criticism he has received personally, understanding that as an international player his performance will always be scrutinized.

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“Personally, I feel in a very good place,” Jennings remarked.

“I think when you look at a guy like Alastair Cook, who has played 160-odd games on the bounce, his place was up for discussion at the end of last season.

“I don’t think your place is ever not under discussion. That’s the brutal world of Test cricket. I’m honoured to be here. I’m hugely privileged and I give my best shot every day, whether I get selected or not. I try and arrive with a smile on my face and give it my best crack.”

Jennings is likely to form England's new opening partnership with Rory Burns

England have brought three potential openers to Sri Lanka in Jennings, uncapped Surrey man Rory Burns and the recalled Joe Denly. Denly can also bat down the order and it seems as though Jennings and Burns will attempt to forge a new partnership in England’s first series after the retirement of Alastair Cook.

Jennings said that he didn’t know if career adversity had made him a better player but he feels it has helped him grow as a person.

“I think I’m probably a better person. I think there’s a lot of things you go through being in this Test bubble,” Jennings said, putting things into perspective. “I’ve put in a lot of things in my life to really stabilise myself.

“Whether it makes you a better player – I don’t know. That’s up to performances to talk for. I need to get some runs. That’s the bottom line.”