Joe Denly has made a comeback into England set-up with a bang, as he grabbed the Man of the Match award for his all-round show in the one-off T20 International against Sri Lanka on Saturday (October 27).
The Kent all-rounder contributed with both bat and ball in England’s 30-run win over Sri Lanka in one-off T20I, as he finished with 4 for 19 with the ball, while scored 20 runs including three fours to adjudged Man of the Match in his comeback match in Colombo.
Having already earned a spot in England's Test squad for the three-match series in Sri Lanka, Denly was later named as a replacement for Liam Dawson for the T20I and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. In the T20I line-up, the 32-year-old found himself in a new role –batting at No. 7 while opening the bowling with his leg-spin - which he described as a "new experience" in Colombo.
Denly told media at the post-match press conference, “Being, primarily, a batsman, I feel I have a pretty good sense of what batsmen are trying to do. I back myself to land my leg-spinner reasonably well and I enjoy opening the bowling. I did it for Kent in T20 last summer.”
He further went on to reveal about the new dimension bowling leg-spin, “I've had some ups and downs in the last eight years. But, over the last two or three years, I've enjoyed my cricket a lot more. I've played with a bit more freedom and I've learned to deal with failure a lot better. I feel [like] a different player to the one I was in 2010. This time I've come in with the attitude of embracing it and enjoying every moment of it.”
The all-rounder is pleased with his show in the lone T20I calling it as a confidence booster ahead of the Red-ball series in Sri Lanka. Denly signed off by saying, “I think getting a chance, performing with the ball and chipping in with a little 20 down the lower-order can only give me confidence. It's certainly nice to get a game in before the red-ball stuff starts. Obviously, there's a spot up for grabs at the top of the [Test] order. I think being able to bowl might work in my favor. But it comes down to performing in these warm-up games and putting your name forward for that first Test. I'm certainly going into those practice games looking forward to performing, scoring runs and giving myself the best chance.”