Having received his maiden call-up to the England Test squad, alongside Surrey opener Rory Burns and Warwickshire paceman Olly Stone, for the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, Joe Denly has said that he is willing to bat at any position that the team management may provide him and is desperate to make the opportunity count.
Denly has played 9 ODIs and 5 T20Is for England but his last International appearance came in 2010 and that is why the 32-year-old right-hand batsman wants to desperately prove a point or two to the selectors.
Talking about the opportunity and his favorite batting slot, Denly told Sky Sports, “I’ve batted in all positions and I think that’s probably helped my selection. I started my career as an opening bat and moved down to number three; I’ve batted at number four as well." and added, “I think that’s what I’ve got to do; I’ve got to prepare to bat in all those positions and, hopefully, if selected in a game I can take that chance at whatever number that is.”
It is good that Denly has shown the openmindedness to bat anywhere the team wants him to, for at the moment he might not get the position which he would like with Alastair Cook retiring and Rory Burns confirmed to partner Keaton Jennings for the opening slot. The middle order too includes Captain Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler.
Meanwhile, having also contributed with the ball for Kent, Denly says he can provide a helping hand to the bowling unit as well.
He said, “I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity I’ve had with the ball this year; I’m very excited to get out there and see what type of wickets we may come up against." and added in conclusion, “But I’m sure that we will be challenged against spin bowling and, hopefully, I can contribute with the ball as well as with the bat.”
England Test squad: Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.