Dan Lawrence happy with first England steps on ‘challenging’ subcontinent tour
Dan Lawrence is relieved to have “the monkey off the back” after taking his first steps with England this winter and the Essex batsman believes he is unlikely to face tougher challenges than the ones he had in Asia.
The 23-year-old made his long-awaited Test debut in Sri Lanka in January and immediately impressed with 73 in his maiden international innings before his 21 not out helped England over the line in Galle after a top-order wobble.
Some chastening experiences followed for Lawrence and a number of his England colleagues in India as spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel exploited the technical shortcomings of several touring batsmen.
While Lawrence was discarded for the pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad, he was parachuted back in as a specialist number seven and ended a trip where England lost the series 3-1 with encouraging knocks of 46 and 50 at the same venue.
Lawrence therefore reflected with a little satisfaction at how the last couple of months have panned out on a personal level and is convinced there will be easier experiences in the international arena in the future.
“It’s quite a big one for me – to get the monkey off the back and actually play a Test match is something I’ve always wanted to achieve,” Dan Lawrence said at Essex’s pre-season media day.
“To do it this winter was an amazing feeling. Overall I’m fairly happy with how it went.
“It was always going to be tough playing India in their own backyard. (It is) more sort of accepting that I don’t think cricket can get more challenging than what I experienced in the few Test matches in Sri Lanka and India.
“Playing in England, you don’t face a lot of spin, or you don’t face a lot of quality spin, because it’s not really needed.
“It was lovely to be challenged against that and then being able to deal with pressure, just knowing that if things do get really tough that I’ve actually got a plan and the sort of tempo and a mindset that hopefully can work at Test level.”
Lawrence batted at five in the 2-0 series win in Sri Lanka but he was promoted to the uncustomary position of first drop for the two Tests in Chennai in the absence of the injured Zak Crawley and the rested Jonny Bairstow.
As England looked to shore up their batting, Lawrence was brought back into the fold at seven in the final red-ball assignment of the winter and the youngster insisted he was unfazed at the constant reshuffle.
“To be honest, if I’m selected for England I’d bat anywhere,” Lawrence said. “I’ve have had a little taste of it and hopefully I can carry on playing.
“I did actually (feel like I belonged), I really enjoyed it, it’s something I always wanted to do, and I really relished the challenge all winter.”
Lawrence is now back at Essex, the defending county and Bob Willis Trophy champions, and he is adamant he will not be distracted by the prospect of featuring for England in this summer’s Tests against New Zealand and India.
“I’ve done that before and got myself in trouble with just thinking too far ahead,” Lawrence added, ahead of Essex’s LV= Insurance County Championship opener against Worcestershire, which starts on April 8 at Chelmsford.
“I’m just going to try and take it game by game and I’m really focused on trying to help Essex win games cricket.
“Whether that’s batting a long time or whether it’s the team needing me to score quick runs, it’s more taking it game by game instead of looking too far ahead.”
Teams will fear us – Moeen Ali turns attention to T20 World Cup after series win
England beat Pakistan in the deciding seventh T20 in Lahore.
England finish with a flourish in Lahore to wrap up T20 series win over Pakistan
Dawid Malan led the way with an unbeaten 78 as the tourists won the decider in the seven-match series by 67 runs.
Dawid Malan shines as England set Pakistan 210 to win Twenty20 series decider
Harry Brook added an unbeaten 46 as England made 209 for three in Lahore.
David Saker backs England bowlers to make splash at Twenty20 World Cup
He has been working closely with the team over the course of an entertaining back-and-forth series.
Phil Salt grateful for England backing after starring in big win over Pakistan
The opener had scored just 59 runs in his first five innings on tour but blazed 87 not out to guide England to victory over Pakistan on Friday.
Phil Salt powers England to emphatic win over Pakistan as series goes to decider
Opener Salt scored an unbeaten 88 as England won by eight wickets.
Unbeaten Babar Azam gives Pakistan shot at wrapping up England series
Babar held court throughout the 20 overs and guided his team to 169 for six.
Liam Norwell saves Warwickshire as Yorkshire suffer relegation to Division Two
Norwell’s career-best nine wickets for 62 runs sealed a five-run win over Hampshire on a thrilling final day of the season.
DCMS hearing on discrimination in cricket pencilled in for December 13
Azeem Rafiq and Lord Patel are set to be asked to appear.
England captain Jos Buttler ‘learning lots’ despite not playing in Pakistan
Buttler has a calf injury, which has ruled him out of the T20 series so far, but he insisted on travelling and has been observing throughout the trip.