By Matt Somerford
Harry Gurney is ready to be the man England turn to at the death should he be handed his debut against Scotland in the Royal London One-Day International on May 9.
Gurney has gained a reputation as a reliable bowler at the end of an innings with Nottinghamshire and hopes to relay that to the international stage.
The 27-year-old was the only left-armer named in the 13-man squad yesterday, which was new Head Coach Peter Moores’ first since taking charge.
He could therefore provide an extra option at the end, but in any case would like to take on the responsibility of the later overs.
“My white-ball game has been in pretty good shape for a little while now so I feel like I am relatively experienced than compared to the red ball,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“Bowling at the death is about set plans and trying to stay one step ahead of the batsman at all times. You have to have confidence in your plans and abilities at the death to execute the skills.
“Hopefully I get the opportunity to play up in Aberdeen and show the selectors, coach and the captain that I justify the selection.”
Gurney thinks the key to bowling at the death is keeping his plans simple and trying to second guess what the batsmen are thinking.
“Sometimes I feel like it can be a little over-complicated at the end,” he said.
“A good yorker is a good yorker and is difficult to hit.
“It’s important to stay ahead of the batsman and bowl where he’s not expecting you to bowl, which sounds obvious but there is a bit of an art to it.
“Should I end up playing I’ll sit down with the coach and the captain and come up with some sort of plan.
“I’ll back myself really whatever the team’s tactic is in terms of death bowling.”
Gurney is yet to play for England but travelled with the limited-overs squad for the recent tour of the West Indies while he was a reserve for the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
He admits it was a relief to be told he remains in England’s plans, following Moores’ appointment.
“With the changing of the guard at the top it’s nice to know that I’ve made it and bridge that gap if you like,” he said.
“I’m the only left-armer in there so hopefully that helps and hopefully the guys that select the final XI feel that it is important.
“You can’t select a left-armer purely because he is a left-armer – he’s got to be bowling well. That being said if you have a left-armer that is bowling well then it is a nice option I guess.”
Gurney will head to Scotland in solid form after claiming 12 wickets in Notts’ opening three LV= County Championship matches.
Thank you everyone for your tweets, much appreciated. Very excited about the next few days!
— Harry Gurney (@gurneyhf) May 1, 2014
“The most recent game against Warwickshire unfortunately we lost, but it was probably my best bowling performance of the season,” he said.
“It’s good timing really because I go into this brief stint with England feeling quite good mentally and confidence wise.
“This so-called new era has led to me being given an opportunity and that’s absolutely fantastic but I still need to go in, given the opportunity, and perform at that level in order to nail down that spot.”
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