Nasser Hussain has expressed confidence in the abilities of Matthew Potts by saying the young pacer has belief in his abilities and the fact that he deserves to play at the highest level. The former skipper said he is excited about Potts’ progression with both bat and ball within the England setup.
Another young pacer has risen through the ranks of England, this time in the form of right-arm fast medium bowler Matthew Potts from Durham. The 23-year-old impressed in his debut series against New Zealand, racking up 14 wickets in three Tests. His play has impressed many in the English cauldron, including the legendary Nasser Hussain.
The trait that stood out to the former English captain the most was Potts’ exceptional attitude and self-confidence despite his young age.
"There are small things, too, that mark Potts out. He's a confident lad. That might not sound the most important thing and people might say 'what difference does that make?' but his attitude strikes me as someone who feels he belongs at this level. He wants to be here and is not shy and doubting himself," Nasser Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail.
Much like England’s highest wicket takers James Anderson and Stuart Broad, Potts relies on accuracy rather than pace. A relentless pursuit of the top of off-stump drives the youngster’s bowling and Hussain observed how his unique action serves as a strength.
"(England director of men's cricket) Rob Key said before the New Zealand series (that) Potts could be a point of difference in this attack and you can see what he means even though he's not express pace. The speed gun will tell you he's bowling at low 80s but actually batters are rushed by him because of that slightly different trajectory and he's a little bit skiddier and catches you in that in-between length,” he explained.
On the first day of the Edgbaston Test against India, Potts stepped up by taking the crucial wickets of Hanuma Vihari and Virat Kohli. However, he failed to keep his economy low and was much more expensive compared to fellow seamers Anderson and Broad. Nevertheless, Hussain feels Potts has tremendous potential and will be guided well by the veteran duo.
"Now Potts has two exceptional bowlers to left-handers in Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad to learn from and maybe he could sit down and talk to them about it. They both tend to go round the wicket to the lefties whereas so far Potts has tried both round and over and it is just an area he will have to work on now he is at the highest level," opined Hussain.
Potts can also hold the bat, having scored two half-centuries in his first class career. Hussain remarked that the right-hander’s batting capabilities will go a long way in establishing him as an England all-whites regular.
"Otherwise there is much to be excited about. Potts has a big heart, he's good in the field and he is better with the bat than we have seen with England so far. He will have seen how Jamie Overton made 97 in the final Test against New Zealand and will realise he has to contribute some runs to be confident of cementing his long-term place in this England side," Hussain concluded.