There’s more to come from Brown
Pat Brown is ready to delve further into his box of tricks as the Twenty20 series against New Zealand progresses, after settling for simplicity on his England debut.
The Worcestershire seamer was entrusted to bowl the final over of New Zealand’s innings on Friday in Christchurch, where he yielded just six runs and collected the prize scalp of Ross Taylor.
He is renowned for his deft changes in pace but, after finishing with commendable figures of one for 33 in the seven-wicket win in the series opener, the 21-year-old revealed he adopted an uncomplicated approach.
Brown said: “It is a very proud moment to make your debut but it is competitive cricket so it is not just about making your debut, you’ve got to be on it from ball one still.
“It was kept fairly simple for me in terms of what was working and who I was bowling at. There are definitely more tricks to come out of the box.
“It is sometimes nice to have that simplicity and know that things are going to work. To have been able to contribute and feel like I bowled OK makes the feeling of making my debut even nicer.”
Brown had his first international wicket – and his 50th in all T20s in 37 games – when Taylor holed out to Jonny Bairstow, who is playing as a batsman only in this series, with Sam Billings behind the stumps.
Brown said with a smile: “I saw a tweet that in a few years’ time I’ll say that was nicked off! It was a good scalp to get first up.”
While his blend of knuckle balls and off-cutters immediately lend themselves to the sprint format, Brown has only featured in a handful of first-class matches and his progress this year was checked following a stress fracture in his back.
He suffered the injury last winter but, despite rest and rehabilitation, Brown was unable to get to the fitness level required to withstand the rigours of the County Championship.
His troubles have led to a humorous diagnosis from some of his Worcestershire colleagues but he is optimistic he will soon resume his red-ball career, even if he is flattered about being branded a limited-overs specialist.
He said: “Bowling my variations, the body gets chucked about in some pretty minging positions. It’s going to be stiff and sore for a while but if I keep doing my work it should be fine.
“I never managed to get on a run where I could bowl with a red ball (this year) but it’s something I’m definitely looking to do and stop the boys saying I have got red-ball rash.
“It’s quite a nice compliment for people to think I have written it off. It means they rate my white-ball stuff highly.
“But I’m 21 and have only played five first-class games, so I don’t see myself as a failure in first-class cricket – it’s something I want to have a good crack at.
“It will make me a better player, against good players on good pitches. It can only help my white-ball stuff even if it is my primary skill in cricket.”
Brown’s presence in New Zealand will keep him away from his graduation ceremony, having recently achieved a 2:1 in business studies at the University of Worcester.
“I’m quite happy to miss it and be with England,” he added.
While Brown is in contention for the second T20 in Wellington on Sunday, Joe Denly has been ruled out of the remainder of the series with an ankle injury which places his involvement in the Test portion of the trip in doubt.
Denly rolled his right ankle during fielding practice minutes before the end of England’s training session on Thursday and subsequent scans have shown ligament damage.
The Kent all-rounder is set to start a rehabilitation programme and will be routinely assessed before the first Test gets under way on November 21.