Dom Sibley’s outstanding season with Warwickshire CCC was rewarded earlier this week with the opener receiving his first call up into the national side.
Sibley, who was recently named Players’ Player of the Year and Members Player of the Year for Warwickshire will be travelling with the England squad next month as they head to the southern hemisphere to face New Zealand in a two-match Test series.
After posting impressive batting statistics last season, it was clear that a call up to the national side was more than earnt.
“I’m just glad that it’s happened now, I’m excited to get out there,” said Sibley. “It’s a dream, as a youngster you dream of playing for England, hopefully, I’ll be able to get a cap when I get out there and do well.”
The Warwickshire opener ended the season as the top run-scorer in the County Championship division with 1324 runs. This was an impressive 349 more than the nearest batsman, Gary Ballance.
With five hundreds under his belt last season, a high score of 244 and a recent 215* against Nottinghamshire, it’s no surprise that the England selectors are rewarding Sibley for his efforts.
The Epsom born batsman, who boasted an average just short of 70 last season, noted how his work in the winter months helped him fine-tune aspects of his batting and move his game up a gear.
“I’ve worked hard on my technique over the winter, I have a better understanding of my game. It’s been a real goal of mine this year to score big runs and an opportunity in the England team has been at the top of the order so I’m just pleased that I’ve been able to get that chance.”
Sibley formed a formidable partnership with opener Will Rhodes during the last campaign. No opening pairing scored more runs than these two, with the next highest stand in Division one over 500 runs behind them. It was their ability to play to each other’s strengths that enabled both to push on throughout the season.
“I think we complement each other quite nicely, he’s a left-hander I’m a right-hander. He scores quite a lot on the off side, I score quite a lot on the leg side, we just complement each other well. We’ve got a good understanding and luckily we’ve had a couple of really good partnerships this season.”
Sibley has incredible mental strength, showing on countless occasions that he is able to keep focused for long periods of time whilst at the crease. This was most recently exemplified after spending over nine hours in the middle against Nottinghamshire. It is this resilience that Silbey mentioned when questioned what he hopes to bring to this England side.
“My ability to bat for long periods of time and get big scores. Grinding down the opposition has been a big strength of mine this year and hopefully, I can transfer what I’ve done in county cricket into Test match cricket.”
Sibley will face a strong New Zealand side in his debut international outing and their bowling attack should be treated with a lot of respect. The likes of Tim Southee and Trent Boult have the ability to trouble the best batsmen but staying patient and keeping it simple will be the key to success.
“They’re all good bowlers, they’ve got a good attack,” Sibley explained. “They’re all really strong but I’m just looking forward to the challenge and testing myself against one of the best oppositions.”
The first Test between the two nations begins on the 20th of November, with the second starting later in the month, on the 28th.