England batsman Keaton Jennings was a relieved man as he scored an unbeaten 146 against Sri Lanka on Day 3 of the first Test at Galle International Stadium, Galle.
Addressing the press conference on Thursday (November 8), Jennings paid tribute to his friends and family after putting a "really tough" 18 months of sleepless nights behind him to score his second ton in red-ball cricket.
"Over the last 18 months I've faced some things in my cricketing life I've had to learn from. I've had to develop myself. It's just really pleasing and a big thank you to the people who have stuck with me over the last 18 months, backed me through some tough times, waking in the night panicking and stressing and going through some tough times. My mum and dad have been really good. My uncle," Jennings told reports at the end of third day’s play in Galle.
"I suppose you do have to keep believing. Whether it's daft of yourself to believe or not, but as sportsmen there are times you need to bluff yourself into thinking you're capable of it. When you're waking up at 6:30 in the morning and reading about your technical deficiencies it's not human to say it wouldn't affect you," he added.
Keaton Jennings's 280-ball knock allowed England to declare at 322/6, setting the hosts a daunting 462 to chase in the fourth innings. Jennings's performance will go some way to silencing his critics – many of whom were calling for him to be dropped after his poor showing against India this summer.
"I'm just really proud to be sitting here today having put us in a position to hopefully win," he concluded.
(With AFP inputs)