England International Danny Briggs, believes that fellow spinner, Ashley Giles, is a popular figure around the dressing room of the national side.
The current coach has come under criticism for recent performances, but after spending time with the team down under, the Hampshire youngster believes that the dressing room is a harmonious place.
Briggs wasn’t selected for the World T20 in Bangladesh last month, did he did play a key role during England’s One-Day matches against Australia earlier in the year.
Speaking on his county club’s official press day, the 22-year-old told GiveMeSport: “Yeah I think the lads did enjoy him, it was just a tough winter. Obviously in Australia it was hard to keep going against the Aussies, having lost the Ashes 5-0 and then trying to carry on in the ODI series was tough.
“The squad found it hard and I think Giles found it hard as well, but there’s a lot of potential in the country and if he does get the job I hope he does well in all formats of the game.”
England were sent home from Bangladesh during the group stages, which produced defeats to New Zealand, South Africa and the Netherlands. A solitary win – albeit against eventual winners, Sri Lanka – has put Giles’ potential of becoming permanent first team coach in doubt.
The 2005 Ashes winner was placed in charge of England One-Day affairs back in November, but his side struggled against the Australians. Only one victory was achieved – and that came after the Aussies had already wrapped up the series.
Giles faces competition from Peter Moores, Mick Newell and Trevor Bayliss to land the full-time role. However, England have only won five of their 18 limited-overs contests during his reign.
Briggs has predominantly been a part of the T20 set-up, and he played in the opening match of the series down under in Hobart. Prior to that he was granted the honour of representing his country at his home ground, when Australia came to Southampton last summer.
A 70-ball 156 from Aaron Finch really put the hosts to the sword, but Briggs still managed to capture the wicket of Shaun Marsh at the Ageas Bowl.
Briggs added: “Yeah it was good, obviously it was a different game when Finch went wild. It was great to play in front of a home crowd for England, it was definitely a different feeling.
“It would’ve been nice to be on a winning team at your home ground but I wouldn’t change it because it was a great day – especially for the Ageas Bowl and myself as well.”
Hampshire are still vying to return to Division One of the County Championship, but playing in the lower tier could be beneficial in terms of helping Briggs develop as a player.
Upholding a place in the England team is a target for the youngster, who knows what he has to do to ensure a return to the international game: “It’s a great honour obviously and you get the confidence from playing at that level.
“I’ve had good experiences playing with some good performances, and bad performances as well, but I think it’s just a big step up and to try and enjoy that as much as possible is one of the main things and will hopefully stand you in good stead,” he added.
“I think any game you play for England drives you on and not being involved recently drives you on as well. It also makes the start of the season a lot more important, performing consistently for Hampshire is the aim really and we’ll see what happens from there.”
With the new season just getting underway, it is the perfect time to hone his game and make himself an all-round cricketer, something that will also aid ambitions to eventually play Test cricket for England.
Briggs explained: “Obviously I’ve had an entry into One Day formats, which has been great. So it’s just trying to develop my game and perform well in four-day cricket for Hampshire and one day hopefully that will lead to Test cricket, but I mean it’s trying to keep your feet on the ground and staying in the present, and that’s performing early season for Hampshire.”
The spinner is evidently very focused about working hard and retaining a place in the England squad for the upcoming summer series against World T20 finalists, Sri Lanka and India.
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