Dernbach backs Lions progression
Jade Dernbach believes his call-up to the World Cup reflects the success of England Lions’ tour of the Caribbean.
The Surrey fast bowler, uncapped at senior international level, was drafted into England’s World Cup squad as a replacement for the hamstrung Ajmal Shahzad ahead of the quarter-final against Sri Lanka.
Dernbach, who turned 25 on Sunday, did not play in the defeat in Colombo but is certain he was ready to do so given his match practice for the Lions in the West Indies Cricket Board championship.
He was the tourists’ leading wicket-taker when he was called to the World Cup, with 19 scalps in five matches at an average of 15.63.
Despite not being part of the senior set-up before, Dernbach’s outstanding displays in the West Indies saw him preferred to fellow Lion Chris Woakes and Steven Finn - both young seamers who had been involved in England’s one-day series with Australia immediately before the World Cup.
Dernbach told ecb.co.uk: “All I was doing was trying to concentrate, trying to do as well as possible, take as many wickets and just put my name out there. That was my aim.
“I was an unknown quantity in their eyes having not been in that (the Lions) set-up before. It was important that I just went there (the Caribbean), took my game to the next level, moving on from how I finished the season with Surrey.
“It all happened very quickly but it can do. It’s good to see the set-up and the system works in that way. It gives players that sort of drive to keep trying to be successful in those set-ups.”
Dernbach’s call came a month and a half into a two-month tour of the West Indies designed to prepare England’s emerging talent for the rigours of senior international trips.
Having spent the previous two winters on the ECB Fast Bowling Programme in Florida and Chennai, the Surrey Academy graduate felt ready for senior international action.
“It was a really good tour out in the West Indies, really well organised,” he said. “The cricket was tough so had I got the call to play the game, the quarter-final, I would have felt just as ready as ever.
“I can’t thank the ECB enough, to get the time to work with Kevin Shine. He was brilliant while I was out there, learnt a lot of stuff.
“I’m really looking forward to the season now. I’m hoping that I can bring that form and success here to Surrey.”
Dernbach’s transition to the senior set-up was eased by the welcome he received. Despite being new, the enthusiastic youngster still wanted to contribute and did so in a way he knew how.
“They welcomed me very nicely, everyone brought me in straight away so I felt quite at home,” he added.
“I just came and wanted to give the guys a bit of energy. It had been a long winter for everyone involved; we’d all been away from home for a long time. I wanted to go over there and freshen things up a little. It was brilliant just to get the call-up and be involved.”
Although several of England’s players had been away from home almost constantly since the beginning of Ashes tour in late October, Dernbach revealed they were far from exhausted.
“If they were they hid it pretty well,” he said. “When I got there the guys were in high spirits. Everything seemed great; we had a good buzz around the dressing room.
“We really thought we had a great chance of progressing to the next stage. Unfortunately that didn’t happen, but that’s what happens in one-day cricket. I’m sure we’ll move forward and I’m looking forward to the one-dayers in June and July."
The games Dernbach refers to are the limited-over series versus World Cup finalists Sri Lanka when he could make his senior international debut.
To achieve that he will likely have to begin the season brightly for Surrey, who start their campaign on Friday at home to Northamptonshire in the LV= County Championship.
Asked about a potential full England cap, Dernbach replied: “It’s obviously in the back of my mind, but I know I have to start this season well for Surrey.
“There’s a lot of cricket between now and then so I just want to continue that form - obviously not put too much pressure on myself. I don’t want to start forcing things.
“I want to see everything I’ve learnt and see where we are come the end of May and hopefully that phone rings and again and I can speak to Geoff Miller and I can get that call.”