Keaton Jennings made his Test debut for England in their last tour to India in 2016. Since then he has been in and out of the side and sometimes has questioned his form and longevity as well.
However, with England playing five Test matches against India starting from August 1, there is a chance for Jennings to make a comeback to the squad.
Talking to Mail Today exclusively, Jennings opened up on how he has found new life in cricket. ‘It was a difficult time but with every negative comes a positive,’ said Jennings Jnr ahead of the five-match series that will almost certainly decide whether he has what it takes to succeed in Test cricket."
‘It gave all my family a kick up the bum to go and get themselves checked to make sure their health is good. Dad is fine now. He’s more healthy than me and is back to being full of rubbish again, which shows he’s OK.’
‘My dad has booked his first flight to England in six years and I’m really excited for him to come over and see how I’ve set my life up over here and just be a part of it,’ Jennings told Sportsmail. ‘He will be staying with me in Manchester and probably getting in my hair!
"The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree so I am like him in many ways but I’m probably a watered-down version. He’s a fantastic man even though I guess I look through tinted eyes. He’s hard but fair. He’s nailed me plenty of times, which I probably deserved, but he’s the first one to give me a pat on the back when I’ve put in that extra effort."
‘"played a massive role in who I am and how I’ve gone about playing my cricket. So to hopefully share that first Test with him would be really special. And if I’m not selected he will be able to watch me play for Lancashire."
Leaving Durham and joining Lancashire he is looking to give a fresh start to his career.
"It’s been an interesting year or so,’ reflected Jennings. ‘Being dropped made me turn my life around, have a good look at myself and my values, the way I want to do things and how I go about life and training."
"You walk out of a four-match series battered and bruised and questioning yourself as a person and your ability. You go through a searching phase where you look for answers and doubt what you have. It was tough. There are expectations on you to score runs and you escalate the importance of it inside your own head."
"That’s one of the things I’ve tried to address. I try to remember it’s a game of cricket and to have a smile on my face and go and have a beer at the end of the day. Enjoy your mate’s hundred, enjoy the fact you’ve just played in front of 20,000 people and done something pretty special."
There is no danger of Jennings missing out on this pivotal series. England regard him highly as a batsman and potential captain, but to justify that faith he must now start making big runs.
Now comes the serious business of five Tests against a formidable India. Jennings made only 29 on his return against Pakistan earlier this season but the indications were that he looked a much more fluent, confident player.
(Inputs from Mail Online)