Young England pacer Matthew Potts said on Saturday that his goal has always been to bowl in good areas on the pitch, which was one of the reasons for him to bring the senior’s prized skull. India Batter Virat Kohli Day one of the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston.
On Friday, after Hanuma Vihari was trapped lbw with a nip-backer, Potts found more excitement in his next over when Kohli tried to leave after playing for the forward defence. But he was late in getting the bat back, as a result of which he cut his stumps from the bottom edge for 11 runs.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a habit (getting out the opposition’s best player), I just try to put the ball in good territory and then if anything happens it happens. Virat is definitely a great player, obviously it’s good to have that player there as well. But if it was a batsman, I would have wanted to put the ball there with the same intention, it so happens that he was Virat,” Potts said in a pre-match conversation with broadcasters Sky Sports.
After twin scalps, Potts got some thrash from wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, who took him out of the bowling attack with six boundaries from either side of the wicket and ended the day with figures of 2/85 in 17 overs.
“I think we had a good day yesterday, a good innings. The boys are coming back today with the intention of cleaning them up and the batsmen are excited to be back on a good pitch. Every day has been tough but you enjoy it.” Learn and for the first time yesterday I was under pressure. Rishabh played a complete blinder of a knock, you could have hit him from the line,” Potts admitted.
Potts also admitted that with Duke’s delivery soft after 30 overs and Pant (146) putting on a 222-run partnership with Jadeja (83 not out), England never stopped their wicket-taking hunt. “The way the balls have been, the 40 to 80 overs period has been tough, the batsmen have scored well in that period, but I think we had good intentions and we always wanted to take wickets.
“We never go off the back foot and always try to put pressure on the front foot, that is the method we are going to adopt. You have to take 20 wickets and try to win games, so we will always go with the intention of taking wickets.”
Potts, 23, who made his Test debut in New Zealand’s 3-0 sweep, picking up 14 wickets, signed off saying that joining the England squad in early 2022 was not on his mind. “It (England Test selection) was something that was not on the radar. Not at all at the beginning of the year. I just wanted to be fit and have a good start to the season for Durham (his county team).
“Good to progress and get more in the frame. It’s something I’ve taken to my stride. It’s just the same sport, but you’re wearing a different shirt and hat apart from some outside pressure . I’m just trying to keep it simple and give my best.”