Following his short but assured 13 in the 50-overs red ball warm-up encounter against Sri Lanka Cricket Board XI, left-hand opening batsman Keaton Jennings said that he is looking forward to the start of the first Test against Sri Lanka on November 6 and so too for another bout with "the brutal world of Test Cricket".
With their two-day warm-up game getting largely interrupted due to rain, England and SLC XI decided to indulge in a 50-overs game, where the home team nudged around in the last two overs of their "chase" on 200 for 7 before finishing short of England's 210 for 6. But Jennings and other visiting batsmen got what they wanted - some invaluable time in the middle.
This is where Jennings, who struggled to get going at all against India in the home summer, says that "I wouldn't say it felt better," but expressed, "It's nice to get a couple of runs underneath your belt. At the end of the day, Tuesday(Day 1 at Galle) becomes crunch time for everyone. Regardless of how many runs you've got in the last two years, really. Tuesday's the day you want to perform."
Jennings, who got widely criticised for his 192 runs across 10 innings at home, further said, "Personally, I feel in a very good place. I think when you look at a guy like Alastair Cook who has played 160-odd games on the bounce, his place was up for discussion at the end of last season."
"I don't think your place is ever not under discussion. That's the brutal world of Test cricket. I'm honoured to be here. I'm hugely privileged and I give my best shot every day, whether I get selected or not. I try and arrive with a smile on my face and give it my best crack," he added.
Having gone through that and provided the right support by the team management and the selectors, Jennings is in a much better mental and emotional space and thinks it will definitely help with his game.
"I think I'm probably a better person. I think there's a lot of thing you go through being in this Test bubble," he said, "I've put in a lot of things in my life to really stabilise myself. Whether it makes you a better player - I don't know. That's up to performances to talk for. I need to get some runs. That's the bottom line," and signed off.
(Inputs from Cricbuzz)