Moores: Kerrigan was called up to soon

England

Lancashire coach Peter Moores has backed spinner Simon Kerrigan to recover from his nightmare England debut at The Oval, saying the 24-year-old was 'too careful' when he got his chance against Australia.

Lancashire coach Peter Moores has backed spinner Simon Kerrigan to recover from his nightmare England debut at The Oval, saying the 24-year-old was 'too careful' when he got his chance against Australia.

Kerrigan gave away 28 runs in his first two overs on day one, and only bowled eight overs in total. He didn't bowl at all on day two, and his performance resulted in much criticism of the team selection.

But Moores, who has coached Kerrigan for his whole career, and who used to coach England, says people have not seen what the spinner can really do, and that he normally bowls with much more pace and aggression.

Moores told <i>Cricinfo</i>: "The shame is that a lot of people will not have seen Simon bowl before and they may judge him on that performance. He has bowled really well, on all surfaces, for us over the last few years.

"He has dismissed some top batsmen. He must have bowled very well in the lead-up to the game, too, to convince Andy Flower and co. to select him.

"I absolutely believe he has the strength of character to bounce back from this. He has proven that time and again at every level. He had to fight to win a first team place ahead of Gary Keedy at Lancashire and he had to fight to win a Lions place.

"He just needs to relax and have some support. Confidence is everything for a sportsman. It is the petrol in their engine. And, on the first day of the Test, Simon was just a little bit careful with the way he bowled.

"At his best, he is looking to bowl with pace and he has been brilliant at times. But it is all about feel and confidence and, against a good side and on a very good batting pitch, he was just a bit careful.

"He has always tended to walk up to the crease and then explode into his action, a bit like Shane Warne. But the way he bowled reflected that he felt under a bit of pressure and that, on a fresh pitch, the circumstances couldn't get much tougher.

"But he has a chance to learn from that. The great thing about being a bowler is that he will probably have another chance over the next few days to show what he can do and I know he can steel himself to come back strong."

Moores then said that Kerrigan's call up may have come to soon, and wouldn't have happened if Monty Panesar's off-field drama had been avoided. The coach added that spinners took longer to mature than pacemen.

He said: "Most people do have to play a few games to feel comfortable in that environment. Spin bowling is a complex skill and Simon is only 24. Spinners often mature a bit later as they learn not just the skills required, but when to apply them.

"There is no doubt that the Monty Panesar situation affected selection and we did not expect the opportunity for Simon to come so soon. But he is a fine young bowler and I know he will learn from this experience and it will make him stronger."

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