Surrey keeper Jamie Smith eager to prove England credentials against the best

By Sports Desk April 03, 2024

Surrey wicketkeeper-batter Jamie Smith will relish the chance to take on Nathan Lyon in Friday’s season opener at Lancashire but is relaxed about his future international prospects.

Smith made his England bow in September when he appeared in two ODIs against Ireland after an excellent domestic campaign.

The 23-year-old has long been earmarked as a future international since he scored a century on his first-class debut in 2019 against an MCC attack which included Stuart Broad. Last year he turned potential into results.

 

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A tally of 736 red-ball runs helped Surrey to Vitality County Championship success and Smith is excited to begin the new campaign against a high-quality Lancashire line-up that should include Aussie spinner Lyon.

“Yeah, I think you have to (relish it) and with aspirations of playing Test cricket, you will come up against world class players anyway,” Smith told the PA news agency.

“There is always a little bit of analysis that goes into it and he’s played a lot. A few guys have played against him in the changing room, so I guess it is getting those experiences as well.

“We know he is a fantastic player. No one gets that many Test wickets (530) without being a fantastic player so you respect what he has done, but also play him like anyone else on the day.”

After Smith started the 2022 season with a maiden double ton at Gloucestershire but failed to back it up, he was determined to bring a level of consistency to his game last year.

What followed was two hundreds, which included a sensational 114 off 77 balls to help Surrey chase 501 at Kent, four fifties and an average of 40.88 with a 65.3 strike rate.

His success was not just limited to red-ball cricket either, with contributions with both the bat and gloves able to fire Surrey to Vitality Blast finals’ day and he also starred for Birmingham Phoenix in The Hundred.

It earned Smith two England white-ball caps in September and his name is in the mix for a Test shot should Surrey team-mate Ben Foakes be discarded.

Smith added: “That was important to put a season together instead of a few scores. For me what was a big turning point was staying consistent with my approach.

“There are going to be low scores in there, but instead of panicking about it or changing the way you want to play, I stayed quite consistent with a positive style.

“It was obviously an incredible end to a fantastic summer and fantastic recognition to have that (England debut).

“No one can ever take it away from you that you have represented your country, no matter who it was against or in what capacity.

“It was a proud day for my family. They made a lot of sacrifices when I was growing up and still now, so it was an incredibly proud moment.

“When you get a taste of something like that, you obviously want to have it again knowing that it is probably not my time right now, with the guys they’ve got picked but if I keep chipping away and scoring runs you never know when the next one could come.

“If you are outscoring people in the County Championship or the Blast and putting in performances, winning games when it matters, scoring runs when it matters, then people will always take notice.”

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