Ball anticipating tough series
England Under-19s captain Adam Ball admits the one-day series with South Africa represents a stiff test for his inexperienced side.
Kent all-rounder Ball, who only turned 18 in March, has been chosen to lead England in seven one-day internationals against the Proteas, starting tomorrow at Edgbaston.
The length of the series is sure to test the durability of players on both sides, particularly the numerous members of England’s squad who are new to international cricket.
Ball told ecb.co.uk: “It’s not usual to come up against seven one-day internationals, but I’m looking forward to it.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge for us to stay fit and also to perform consistently over the period.”
Ball has featured for Kent in all three formats of the game this season and is hoping to use the experience he has gained to good effect.
“Obviously I’ve got quite a big role to play with bat and ball, but also to express my leadership skills and try and lead the team to a series victory,” he acknowledged.
“It’s a great honour to be named captain of your country, a massive achievement.”
Several younger players have been brought in to England's squad with one eye on next year’s Under-19 World Cup in Australia.
Ball, who played in the previous edition of the tournament in New Zealand last January, added: “There are a few new guys around, a couple of boys I haven’t seen before.
“It’s always nice to see some new faces, it brings a bit of freshness to the team, and I’m looking forward to seeing how those guys get on. Obviously I’ll be there for them to go to and offer as much advice as I can. All the experience that I’ve had, I’ll try to pass that on to those boys.
“I’ve learned masses this season with Kent, with getting the opportunity to play in Twenty20 and learn new skills. I’m going to look to bring them into this series as well as learning new stuff.
“This series, we have a very young team, predominantly under-18s playing against an under-19 South African team, but we’re just looking to build for next year, we’ve got a year of preparation to build for the World Cup and this is just one stepping stone towards that.”