Borthwick: I’m a batsman who bowls a bit


Durham all-rounder Scott Borthwick is in line to be picked for the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's, but it will be for his batting rather than his leg-spin, which has taken a back seat lately.

Borthwick has been piling on the runs at number three for Durham, having moved up the order from number eight, and is set to be picked ahead of Nick Compton, who has taken a break from the game after a run of poor form.

Borthwick has played one Test for England, in the Ashes in 2014 in Australia. There he took four wickets and scored four runs, and was never picked again. He now feels his batting alone is worthy of a recall.

Borthwick said on Cricinfo: "I was hoping that my legspin would get good.I was probably hoping to be the next Warne. I think most leggies think like that.

"You always remember your good days, but in the last three or four years I have had a lot more good days with the bat than with the ball. You just have to look at the facts: I am a No. 3 batsman who plays first-division cricket for Durham.

"I still enjoy my bowling – I think most leggies do – but I think probably as a batsman who bowls. Whatever I do, I've got a passion for it and I want to do well.

"But in terms of legspin it's hard, and it has been a frustrating three or four seasons really, because I haven't got the overs in. I know my batting has overtaken my legspin."

The 26-year-old explained how he'd come to bat five places above his usual position, saying that Durham skipper Paul Collingwood had asked him if he'd be keen, back in 2013.

He added: "I often used to get runs when we were struggling. I used to hate coming in at 400 for 6 and would just want to play the shots everyone else was playing.

"It was a jump from eight to three, but I thought I had to take it. I'd had a hundred at No. 8 at Edgbaston, but after the first couple of games, the routine of getting to the ground and getting your pads on felt pretty natural.

"I remember Geoff Cook [Durham's coach] saying to me at Durham after 2013, 'You've gone from a bowling allrounder to a genuine batter who bowls legspin.' It felt like a second career."

As for being picked for Lord's, Borthwick said he could do nothing but keep his eye on the ball and bat how he has been doing all season, and hope that England coach Trevor Bayliss takes the gamble.

Borthwick added: "You never know how close to selection you are until you get picked, but it's obviously in my mind because it's getting spoken about. It's up to me just to try and bat with a clear mind like I normally do.

"Each day is different: you can get a good ball. It's just a case of turning up, preparing in the right way, keep doing the right things, and when you get in, try and cash in and go big."