Gregory to continue fearless approach but insists he is more than just a slogger
Lewis Gregory believes he will have a licence to thrill if selected for England’s Twenty20 opener against New Zealand on Friday – but he is not content to be merely labelled “a slogger”.
The Somerset all-rounder has built a reputation of finishing innings strongly in the Vitality Blast and, on his first appearance in England colours, he crunched an unbeaten 29 from 11 balls in the heavy eight-wicket defeat against a New Zealand XI in the final T20 warm-up in Lincoln.
Gregory intends to continue exhibiting a carefree approach in the death overs if he is given his international bow in Christchurch later this week.
However, he insists he is capable of tailoring his batting depending on when he arrives at the crease.
Gregory said of his finishing capabilities: “It’s something over the past couple of years I’ve done reasonably well and hopefully if the opportunity comes in the next five games, we’ll be able to do a similar thing.
“It’s just trying to put people under pressure, there’s no real pressure on myself, it’s just going out there and try to hit the ball as far as I can.
“I like to think that there’s more than just a slogger in there. But whatever is put in front of me, I want to adapt to.
“Whether it’s batting for 10 overs or two overs, it’s about going out there to assess the conditions and try as perform as best as possible.
“If I get a go, that’s probably what I’m likely to be doing in this side, and I’ll try to do it as best I can.”
Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer are among a clutch of stellar names rested from the from the five-match series following their exertions in the World Cup and Ashes over the summer.
The fixtures against the Black Caps mark the start of England’s preparations for next year’s T20 World Cup and Gregory hopes he can push his claims for further call-ups in the coming months.
He said: “It’s a long way off. It’s a great opportunity out there for any of the guys to put your hands up and go ‘look at me, look at what I can do’.
“There’s no doubt that if guys get an opportunity, they’ll be pushing to stake a claim for that T20 World Cup.
“The dream for everyone is to play international cricket and that’s no different for me. I’ve wanted to ever since I started playing – that was the ambition, to play international cricket and succeed in it.
“If I get an opportunity hopefully I can push on and succeed and nail down a place in the XI.”
Gregory, who conceded 27 from two overs at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval and spilled a difficult chance off fellow newcomer Matt Parkinson, has been on England’s radar for a while.
The 27-year-old may be awaiting his international debut but he was included in the squad for the one-off Test against Ireland in a summer where he finished with 51 County Championship wickets at a superb average of 15.76.
He added: “I see myself as a three-dimensional cricketer across all three formats. You try to adapt to each format as best as possible.
“My game naturally suits white ball a bit better, but I had a really good County Championship this year, especially with the ball, and every time I pull on the whites or the colours it’s about trying to perform as best as possible and make an impact on the game.”