Dernbach ready to put in hard yards
Jade Dernbach believes the experience of a trying summer at Surrey will stand him in good stead for an “intense” tour of Australia with the England Performance Programme.
The pace bowler flies out to Brisbane tomorrow to begin a five-week camp geared around supporting the England Test squad during the Ashes.
Dernbach will land with spirits high following a profitable season with the ball, and keen to press his claims for senior England honour should the opportunity arise.
Ironically, however, part of the reason behind his soaring confidence are Surrey’s travails this year - and, more specifically, the fact that he emerged from the summer with his reputation enhanced.
A tally of 51 LV= County Championship wickets at 27.25 apiece is impressive in its own right, but even more so when you consider Dernbach was a member of a team that won just four of 16 LV= County Championship games.
“It’s been a long season with Surrey but a good one,” he told ecb.co.uk/video. “I’m just glad I’m getting repaid now.
“It was a tough season as a team but, personally, it’s good to come out of the back of a tough year having 51 wickets, bowling at the Oval.
“Wickets at the Oval don’t come very easy but that’s part of my learning curve. Bowling on such a flat wicket has helped me get to where I am.
“Everything sort of clicked this year, but I bowled a lot of overs and there was a lot of hard work. It all came off and I couldn’t be happier."
Dernbach has established himself as the leader of the Surrey attack in the last two years - a title he “embraces” - and he insists an appetite for hard graft will bear dividends Down Under.
Having played club cricket in Sydney, the 24-year-old has advised those EPP colleagues who have not sampled life in Australia before to relish rather than be cowed by alien conditions.
“We know the weather’s going to be a lot hotter than here,” he added. “Big grounds, flat wickets - but it rewards tough, hard cricket.
“The harder you work the more you get out of it. If the guys can get their heads around that - if we have that mindset - I’m sure we’ll be just fine.”
The EPP are scheduled to play four-day matches against a Queensland XI and a Western Australia XI during the tour, but the ultimate aim is to serve as a pool of match-ready replacements should the senior England squad come calling.
To that end, Dernbach is unsurprisingly eager to thrust himself into the selectors’ reckoning.
He said: “It’ll be great to get out there and show what we can do. But the important bit is to help the full England side as much as we can and, where possible, push our names forward.
“It should be brilliant. I haven’t been involved in anything as intense as this before. I’ve been on a couple of the fast-bowling courses in the last couple of winters, but nothing for this extended period of time.
“When I got the call I was over the moon and I’m looking forward to grabbing it with both hands.”