England's assistant coach Graham Thorpe has urged everyone not to compare attacking batsman Tom Banton to English great Kevin Pietersen, as he fears it would put massive pressure on the 21-year-old. Banton starred in the first T20I against Pakistan with a whirlwind 42-ball-71 in a rain-hit game.
Somerset batsman Tom Banton has been the talk of the town ever since he endured his best day in the English jersey in Manchester against Pakistan. Banton, who got the opportunity to open after regular opener Jason Roy got ruled out with side strain, made the opportunity count with a powerful 42-ball-71-run knock, which included five maximums, in the first T20I against Pakistan, which got abandoned due to rain.
Graham Thorpe, who is the stand-in-coach in absence of head coach Chris Silverwood, however, feels it's too early to compare the young batsman with Kevin Pietersen, a veteran of 104 Tests, 134 ODIs and 37 T20 internationals. Thorpe reckons Banton should be left to develop at his own pace.
"It's very early. Let him be comfortable in the environment he's in and let him develop at his own pace as well. He's certainly talented, you can tell he's very hungry as a player and he works well at his game. It's always pleasing when you see someone perform on the big stage as a young lad," Thorpe was quoted as saying by Sky.
Banton impressed one and all with his powerful and audacious stroke-play, which included quite a few ramp shots off pacer Haris Rauf. He might have fallen prey to Shadab Khan but not before he teed off against him and tonked three sixes in dismissive manner, which indicates he can be more than handy for the 2021 T20 World Cup in India. Thorpe praised Banton's clarity in stroke play and the ‘power’ he generates to smoke bowlers.
"In this game, you need to have real clarity on your strokeplay. And he's powerful as well. You saw some of the skill shots - the ramp shots he played off Rauf - but he was incredibly clear on his plan against spin as well. If you can step up and put in performances like that, you're certainly going to create competition for the squad and that's what we're looking for," said Thorpe, who has represented England in 100 Tests and 82 ODIs.
England and Pakistan will lock horns in the second T20I of the three-match series at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 30.