I was a kid during my Test debut, would do better if I faced R Ashwin now, reckons Ben Duckett

I was a kid during my Test debut, would do better if I faced R Ashwin now, reckons Ben Duckett

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Ben Duckett recently returned to England's Test squad six years after making his international red-ball debut


(Ben Duckett's Twitter)

Ben Duckett has expressed confidence in his skills against spin bowling despite previous failures, citing his experience of playing against Ravichandran Ashwin in the nets at Nottinghamshire as valuable. The batter went on to praise the veteran before highlighting his own evolution over the years.

Ben Duckett has become the latest England batsman to rise through the ranks and cement his claim over a spot in the national team's red-ball setup. He scored over 1,000 runs in the latest County season averaging 72.28 and guiding Nottinghamshire to triumph in Division 2 of the tournament. These exploits recently earned him a call-up to the Test side as well in the series against South Africa, after Jonny Bairstow had to be ruled out due to an injury. 

Duckett had last played for England in the all-whites in 2016, making his debut against Bangladesh at the age of 22. A half-century in the second game earned him an opportunity on the tour of India later in the year where he managed just 18 runs, falling victim all three times to Ravichandran Ashwin's mastery.  

"I was a kid. I don't think anyone knows their game at 20 or 21 - well, I know for a fact that no one does. It takes time. It's been a journey. I'm not a different player, but I have a more mature head on my shoulders,” the middle-order batter was quoted as saying to ESPN Cricinfo.

Duckett later played with the off-spinner for Nottinghamshire in 2019, with the 27-year-old revealing he took the opportunity to hone his skills.

"He is more than just an off-spinner, Ashwin. He spins it both ways. He is incredible. I was lucky to play with him when he played for Notts and I was facing him in the nets every time I could. Not many people will have that opportunity after struggling in Test cricket and then playing with him and facing him in the nets,” he stated.

The left-handed batter is currently with the national team in Pakistan, excelling in the seven-match T20I series. He is the leading run-scorer there across both teams averaging over 50 and striking at 159.84. However, Duckett isn't a part of the World T20 squad but is expected to feature against the Men in Green in Tests later in the year in the subcontinent. 

"I never doubted that I couldn't play spin: I found it extremely funny when people said I couldn't play spin - and people still do until this tour - because I know in myself it's my strength. I've obviously been working on facing it but I know for a fact if I faced Ashwin in India right now, it would still be hard work, but I would back myself to put in a bit of a better performance than I did last time," Duckett concluded.

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