Test best for Borthwick
There may be ongoing debate in certain quarters about the future of Test cricket, but one of England’s most promising youngsters has no doubt that it remains the premier form of the game.
Durham leg-spinner Scott Borthwick made his first international appearances in 2011, featuring in ODIs in Ireland and India, and a Twenty20 against West Indies at the Kia Oval.
The 21-year-old, currently back in India with the England Performance Programme, is understandably delighted to have been given the opportunity to represent his country.
However, he is aware further improvement is required if he is to achieve his ultimate dream of playing Test cricket.
“If someone had said to me this time last year, ‘you’re going to make your England debut and you’re going to go on tour to India,’ I would have probably just laughed,” Borthwick told ecb.co.uk.
“I’m just honoured to have been a part of the tour (to India). It was a shame about the results, but for me it was a great experience and really enjoyable.
“In the short-term I want to work hard and try and improve my skills and then see where that takes me after Christmas. Whether I go to Bangladesh (with England Lions) or Dubai (with the senior squad), I just want to try to help England win games.
“My long-term ambitions are like any other young cricketer, I want to play Test cricket for England. I’ve played a couple of one-dayers and a Twenty20, but Test cricket is the main goal.”
Borthwick’s claims for a Test place can only be helped by his competence with the bat.
Although bowling is currently his strongest suit, the Sunderland-born youngster has frequently batted up the order for Durham in four-day cricket and is determined to develop into a genuine all-rounder.
Asked about his batting, he replied: “It’s a part of my game I want to improve. I want to be a proper all-rounder, not just someone who can come in at nine or eight.
“I want to be a number six batsman if I can, that’s my long-term goal. It’s probably not going to happen in the next couple of years, but that’s definitely where I want to be.”
For the time being, however, Borthwick’s main duty is with the ball and he will hope to produce more deliveries like the one that earned him his first international wicket at the Oval in September.
West Indies’ Johnson Charles was completely deceived by a magical googly that bowled him through the gate, and Borthwick admitted: “It’s the sort of ball you dream of as a leg-spinner.
“It’s the ball that you practise and it comes off in the nets but very rarely in games. The batsman usually gets an inside-edge or his pad on it, so it was nice. It was another great experience for myself.”