Dernbach eager for Test chance
Jade Dernbach is determined to put himself in line for a Test debut when England Lions face West Indies this week.
It is almost a year since the Surrey fast bowler made his one-day and Twenty20 international bows - both against Sri Lanka late last June.
The closest Dernbach has come to playing in a Test was earlier that month when he was called up to England’s squad for the second game with Sri Lanka in place of the injured James Anderson.
That came on the back of a career-best nine wickets for the Lions against the same opponents at Derby. His latest chance with England’s second string is at Northampton from tomorrow and the 26-year-old wants to make the most of it.
“I’m really grateful for this opportunity,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“I only have to look back on last year and see when I did well against the Sri Lankan touring team that I ended up getting myself in the Test match squad.
“It goes to prove that these are really important games and ones that really bare a lot of substance when people are looking at you to kick on to the next level.
“It’s a nice way of bridging the gap between county cricket and full international honours. So it’s a very important game for everyone involved to stake a further claim for what is a busy summer of international cricket.”
Steven Finn, another of the impressive emerging seamers available to England, was preferred for the Lord’s Test versus Sri Lanka.
However, Dernbach went on to play in 10 ODIs and four T20s last summer, taking 22 wickets to establish himself in England’s limited-overs plans.
Like for many of his international team-mates, the tour of India was a steep learning curve with Dernbach claiming just one scalp in the three ODIs he featured in and none in the one-off T20.
Having lost his place, Dernbach returned with four victims in the fourth ODI against Pakistan at Dubai and added as many in the three T20s that followed.
Most notably, he bowled Misbah-ul-Haq for 28 with a trademark disguised slower delivery as the Pakistan captain sought six from the final ball to win the series.
“I want to be successful every time I put the England shirt on,” added Dernbach.
“It was nice to take some confidence from the last few Twenty20s and the last one-day I got to play in. So any time I can take some positives from there and bring it with me it’s obviously a positive.
“Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to put the shirt back on this summer because there’s a lot of important series with the likes of South Africa, Australia and first up the West Indies.
“I’m very much looking forward to it and I think it’s going to be an exciting time for everyone involved.”
To earn Test honours, Dernbach will have to displace at least one of the likes of James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan or Finn.
Injury, of course, could present an opportunity and Surrey team-mate Chris Tremlett’s back problem is a short-term boost to Dernbach’s prospects.
In Tremlett’s absence, Dernbach has made a steady start to the season with 11 wickets from three LV= County Championship and two Clydesdale Bank 40 matches.
“You just need to try to be as successful as possible,” said Dernbach. “If I can continue taking wickets here at Surrey and every opportunity I get with the Lions, I think it’s only going to further stake my claim.
“There’s such a big group of talented seamers around at the moment, it’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of wickets to push you way in. But if an opportunity arises, then I want to be there in pole position to grab it.”