Dom SIbley says he is “greedy” for more runs, despite a strong start to his England Test career.
After 10 Tests, the England opener averages 39.50 with the bat, scoring two hundreds, with his second coming in the second Test against West Indies earlier this summer.
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England vs Pakistan
August 13, 2020, 10:30am
Sibley, however, feels he could and should have scored more and though he lost 12kg in weight during lockdown, that has not affected his appetite for run-scoring.
“If you’d have said to me that after 10 Test matches, I’d be averaging 40, with two Test match hundreds, I’d be pleased but, at the same time, I do feel I’ve got a lot more to give,” Sibley told reporters.
“I feel like I’ve let opportunities slip to maybe score four or five hundreds. I know that might sound greedy, or unrealistic, but that’s the way I’m thinking, trying to build on what I’m doing, take the positives and score a few more big scores this summer.”
Sibley returned scores of 8 and 36 in England’s first #raisethebat Test against Pakistan at Emirates Old Trafford last week, against a very strong-looking bowling attack.
While he was disappointed with his returning, “wanting to be that person there at the end when England chased down 277 to win, he is backing himself to score in the remainder of the series.
“They’re a very good attack,” said Sibley. “They’ve got a bit of everything; (Mohammad) Abbas, who is very accurate, left-arm angle [Shaheen Afridi], the youngster who has got some pace [Naseem Shah] and a world-class spinner [Yasir Shah].
“It does feel tough at times. There are periods where bowlers bowl well at you and you do feel like ‘I’m not sure how I’m going to score against this guy’ but it’s just a case of getting through that. As people always say, batting does get easier.
“I’m starting to feel more comfortable every time I go out to bat; there are some amazing bowlers out there but I’ll always back myself.”
A prolific run-scorer in county cricket, particularly over the last couple of years, Sibley added the greater scrutiny at Test level has, at times, taken him by surprise – with his slow pace of scoring coming in for some criticism.
“It’s a fine balance,” Sibley said of his patient play. “I want to be out there and put a high price on my wicket but, at the same time, being able to play the shots that I know I have in my locker.
“It’s just about having the bravery and the confidence to do that in the Test arena when the scrutiny is high and you might get judged for how you get out.
“When you get to this level and suddenly loads of eyes are on you, and you’re not scoring as quickly as other people in the team, you get judged.
“It’s one of those things you’ve got to get used to; the only time it surprised me was when I got a hundred and people were still making comments. That was an eye-opener.
“It’s just made me think I need to work a bit harder.”
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Finally, with England set to miss talismanic all rounder Ben Stokes for the final two Tests of the series for ‘family reasons’, Sibley said the entire squad’s thoughts were with Ben.
“He’s a massive part of our team and he’s obviously one of the best players in the world,” he added. “But family comes first and we’ll be supporting him with everything that’s going on – we wish Ben all the best.
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