Mason Crane Set for Test Debut, Sam Billings Speaks Highly Of Him
As an 8-year-old watching, Shane Warne bowl during the 2005 Ashes series against England excited the young 20-year-old leg spinner Mason Crane to take up leg break bowling. He has now replaced his Hampshire team-mate Liam Dawson in the English Test squad and is not far away from getting his maiden Test cap.
Crane took two T20 Blast wickets between the Headingley and the Edgbaston Test as Hampshire defeated Derbyshire by 101 runs to confirm a place for the final.
Meanwhile, England after thumping Windies by a big margin in the opening Test won’t like to be complacent and go out in the remaining two Tests. The remaining two Tests is an ideal opportunity to look at what Crane has on offer. English opening batsman Sam Billings who knows him from close quarters spoke to him at length.
“I’ve batted a lot against him now. I managed to take him down the other day (Billings hit 40 from 25 in a six-wicket T20 Blast loss), which I was happy about because he got me out in Sydney.He was playing club cricket out there this year, Jason [Roy] and I were with the Sydney Sixers and he got me out a couple of times in the nets. He was like ‘I’ve got you in my pocket’, so I was happy to get a hold of him the other day.
“He is an exciting prospect, any time a spinner can turn it both ways, especially a leg-spinner, that is probably the hardest skill to master in cricket… except for wicketkeeping! It is a great attacking asset. It will be interesting to see how he goes, it is exciting but you have to be patient with any young player, let alone a spinner. In this day and age, if spin comes on people look to attack against it.
“I think a huge advantage he’s got, is he has a strong character and believes in himself. You need that at the top level, so I’ve got every faith in him. Obviously, he’s got huge potential, I suppose they [England] are looking to fast-forward that, good on him, I wish him well.
“There has to be something about him if an Australian Sheffield Shield side say you can play as an overseas player, they hate us down there any way don’t they!”
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