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Davies seeks double benefit

England Lions

Steven Davies is working hard to adapt his batting and glovework to sub-continental conditions, and help England Lions wrap up their Twenty20 series against Pakistan A in the process.

The Lions took a 1-0 lead in their three-match series in the United Arab Emirates yesterday, Craig Kieswetter and Ian Bell making short work of chasing 157 in Sharjah.

Davies, the appointed back-up gloveman to Matt Prior in the England Test squad, kept wicket and scored a quick 14 opening the batting.

Surrey’s new signing is using the Twenty20 and 50-over matches in the UAE as preparation for the tougher assignment in Bangladesh with the full England Test squad that follows.

“They’re very different wickets here,” Davies told ECBtv. “In South Africa it’s very bouncy and nips off the seam a bit.

Bruce French, Matt Prior & Steven Davies

Bruce French, seen here leading a fitness drill on England's recent tour of South Africa, keeps Steven Davies "on his toes"

“Here they’re very slow and low, and the first six overs in Twenty20 are always crucial.

“I just try to be positive when batting. In Twenty20 you don’t have much time to get yourself in.

“I just wanted to see the ball early and get bat on ball. Just basic stuff really. I didn’t feel great (yesterday) and didn’t get many runs, but most of the boys chipped in and we won quite comfortably.”

Plenty of keepers have found the going tough on low wickets in the sub-continent, so Davies views his time working with wicketkeeping coach Bruce French as crucial.

“It’s the same as batting,” explained Davies. “We have to stand a lot closer, which makes the nicks a little harder to take.

“We have Bruce French over here, and he’s helped me a lot. I owe a lot to him for improving my game. He makes sure we’re on our toes.

“I’m really looking forward to Bangladesh actually. I’ve been fortunate to go on a couple of England tours now, and it’s always great to join up with the full squad.”

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