Matt Parkinson: England leg-spinner overcomes ‘dark moments’ to star in white-ball series against Pakistan

Matt Parkinson: “Hopefully I performed well enough for England to consider playing on two legs again. [Adil] Rashid is number one and an absolute bowler, but I would like to think that this week has helped me push my case. ”

Matt Parkinson admits to dealing with some “dark moments” during a long winter with England, which he spent on the subcontinental side, as he now stars in the white ball series against Pakistan.

Parkinson was always present on winter tours of Sri Lanka and India, spending three long months on the road in restrictive biosecurity conditions, unable to make a single competitive appearance.

The 24-year-old won praise from head coach Chris Silverwood for his hard work and positive attitude, but Parkinson told reporters Monday that he wasn’t always able to keep his chin up.

“It was a tough three months without playing this winter, there were some dark moments in the halls of India,” he said.

“You’re obviously very grateful to be on tour in England, and it’s done wonders for me, but you want to play and get involved. I didn’t think it would have improved; I didn’t think ‘this is a waste’, but I came down very easily.

“You can feel very, very depressed, but I realized when I returned home, after about a month, how much I had improved.

“Having had those three months working there, bowling every day with people like Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and then the cue ball guys, I don’t think you appreciate it when you’re there.

“People would tell me ‘oh this looks different’ and I think it takes time for it to settle down and for you to see it. Other people can see it right away.

“I’m very grateful to have made that trip. I probably wasn’t when I got back, but now I am.

“If you had asked me two weeks ago if I had played five internationals for England this summer and taken some wickets, I would probably have laughed at you.”

In the past two weeks, Parkinson has won six wickets in those five internationals and starred alongside Adil Rashid in a series-level T20I victory over Pakistan at Headingley on Sunday.

The pair’s eight overs cost a total of just 55 runs, for the loss of three wickets, and it was suggested to Parkinson that it could be a tactic to be used again, either on Tuesday for the third T20I in Manchester or in the next. World Cup T20.

“Not many teams would do that to be fair. It’s kind of weird,” Parkinson said. “Hopefully I performed well enough for England to consider playing on two legs again.

“I know Rash is number one and an absolute bowler, but I’d like to think that this week has helped me push my case forward.

“If I was a backup, I don’t think there are many better role modes to learn from than Rash, so if that’s a role I have to do, then that’s fine.”

Watch the third international T20 game between England and Pakistan, live on Sky Sports Cricket starting at 6pm on Tuesday.

July 19, 2021 admin

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