England’s Keaton Jennings not fazed by Durham CCC run-scoring burden

Keaton Jennings in action for during the Durham. Picture by FRANK REID
Keaton Jennings in action for during the Durham. Picture by FRANK REID

Durham opener Keaton Jennings understands he carries much of the county’s run-scoring burden in the top order.

But the England batsman is not fazed one bit by his new found seniority.

We played some good cricket at times, we know we can bounce back from it in the next game

Durham travel to The Brightside Ground to take on Gloucestershire tomorrow, having failed to get off to the perfect start many have predicted was needed to muster a promotion attempt.

In defeat to Nottinghamshire, though, Jennings was a bright spark at the Riverside - scoring 102* in the second innings in a nine-wicket defeat.

And without the guaranteed knocks from the likes of Scott Borthwick and Mark Stoneman, both of whom departed over the winter, Jennings is set to be relied upon heavily this campaign.

“I know that I need to score more runs, with those guys gone,” he said.

“As a top order batter you want to score runs, as many as you can.

“It is always good to start the season in a positive way on a personal note.

“But I was obviously disappointed we lost the game.

“I’ve always said that team wins are much better than personal milestones.

“It’s kind of bittersweet - I’d rather have been sitting after the game with a couple of noughts and the team having won.

“But we played some good cricket at times in the game and we know we can bounce back from it in the next game.”

Reflecting back on the Notts loss, Jennings, who is expected to form part of the England top order later this summer, believes it is something Durham can quickly put behind them.
The 24-year-old is sure the defeat will not define the club’s season.

“We couldn’t win the Championship after one game in April anyway,” he said.

“We need to make sure over the next few months we put ourselves in a position where we can challenge and hopefully win it.

“It was a good challenge to play against a team of that level who are quality from 1 all the way through to 11.”

Meanwhile, chairman Ian Botham has confirmed that Durham are fully behind the ECB’s planned new Twenty20 tournament.

The new competition - part of the ECB’s Cricket Unleashed strategy - has been met with mixed opinion across the counties, but Botham thinks the changes will have a positive impact on the game.

“The competition is exciting and offers a number of opportunities,” he said.

“We will hopefully be very much part of it and do our best make the tournament a huge success.

“It’s financially very sensible to do it and if we prepare properly and come up with the right formula throughout the summer then it’s proven that the format has great benefit.

“You want to see kids and young people at sold-out cricket grounds and I think the new competition will help do that alongside the NatWest T20 Blast.”