England spirit lifts Dernbach
Jade Dernbach believes the feelgood factor in the England dressing room is key to helping young players make their mark on the international stage.
Under the stewardship of team director Andy Flower, England have won the World Twenty20, replaced recently departed tourists India as the number one Test side and started life under Alastair Cook’s one-day captaincy with a handful of impressive performances.
While most of that success has been down to experienced hands, Flower has taken the chance this summer to gradually blood the next generation, handing debuts to Alex Hales, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, Scott Borthwick, Jos Buttler and Jonathan Bairstow.
Of those, Bairstow made the most striking impact, with a nerveless 41 not out in 21 balls to win the final NatWest Series ODI against India at the SWALEC Stadium last week.
Dernbach, who has become a regular in the limited-overs side since making his international bow against Sri Lanka in June, believes England’s run of form in all cricket eases players’ entries into the side.
“International cricket brings pressure, but a successful dressing room is a successful environment and we expect the best because winning becomes a habit,” he said.
“You want to be a part of that feeling. It gives you confidence in your own ability knowing you’re coming in to be part of what is a successful side. It gives each and every one of us confidence when we walk in.
“For Jonny Bairstow to come in and look so at home was outstanding. That’s testament to the feeling we have got in the dressing room.
“We made him feel very welcome, he felt at home and he was able to produce his best cricket. People will back you 100% in the decisions you make and that’s what happened for Jonny.”
England convened today at Dernbach’s home ground, the Kia Oval, where they will close a vintage season with two NatWest International T20s against West Indies on Friday and Sunday.
Injuries to first-choice Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad and deputy Eoin Morgan plus the resting of Kevin Pietersen mean England, like West Indies, boast a fresh-faced squad.
Dernbach joins Hales, Bairstow, Buttler, Stokes and the uncapped Danny Briggs in a 14-man party, while another Surrey seamer - Stuart Meaker - has been invited to attend practice tomorrow at the request of fast bowling coach David Saker.
A similar situation earned Chris Tremlett a call-up to the Ashes squad last year and Dernbach is pleased for his county colleague.
“Stuart is coming to have a bowl tomorrow,” Dernbach said. “David wants to meet him. I’m not sure what the process is but that’s a great opportunity for him to show what he’s capable of and to meet the guys.
“It worked well for Chris Tremlett and any opportunity you have to come in and impress you’ll grab with both hands. He’ll be excited about that and the boys will be excited to see what he has to offer.”
In the absence of Broad and Morgan this week, Graeme Swann becomes England’s fifth captain of the summer.
He is so often the side’s joker in the pack, but Dernbach is not anticipating any off-the-wall tactics from the spinner.
“He’s going to bring enthusiasm and excitement because that’s him as a person,” Dernbach said.
“He’ll want to stamp a little bit of himself on things and I’m looking forward to seeing it, but I don’t think it will be anything drastic or anything radical.
“It’s a great opportunity to lead his country, which is a thing a lot of people dream about.”