Durham’s Sunderland-born spinner Scott Borthwick dares to dream of England spot against India

Scott Borthwick bowls during a practice session in Hyderabad, India.
Scott Borthwick bowls during a practice session in Hyderabad, India.
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DURHAM spinner Scott Borthwick hopes he has done enough to earn a place in England’s team to face India tomorrow, writes Gary Foster.

Borthwick was in outstanding form as he took 5-31 in Tuesday’s 53-run warm-up win over a Hyderabad CA XI.

It remains to be seen whether or not that has been enough for the Sunderland-born ace to force his way into Alastair Cook’s side for the first one-day international in Hyderabad.

But while the leg-spinner would love to play a part in the opening clash against India, he won’t be too down if he misses out.

“All I can do is take wickets and play well when I get the chance,” Borthwick said.

“If that’s enough to get me in the side then it will be absolutely fantastic.

“But even if I don’t get in it will still be great just to be part of the squad.

“I’m learning all of the time, and just being out in India, training and netting with these players can only be good for me.”

Pitches on the sub-continent are notoriously spin-friendly and, should he get the nod, Borthwick is confident he can put his skills to good use.

“Pitches out here do tend to favour spin. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to bowl and get some turn,” added the Wearsider.

“I’ll still have to bowl in the right areas, because they have some very good batsmen, but if I can get it to spin hopefully the wickets will come.”

Before heading out on tour, Borthwick received some words of wisdom from Durham team-mate and former England ace Paul Collingwood.

And the young spinner certainly intends to heed that advice.

“Colly told me to believe in myself and to back my ability,” he added.

“I guess that’s good advice whatever position you play, but it is especially true for spinners.

“You can get hit for six one ball, and for four the next, but you have to believe in yourself.

“You have to have the confidence to keep throwing the ball up and trying to spin it.

“If you back yourself and keep working at it, hopefully it will come off.”

There’s more to Borthwick’s game than just his leg spin, and he admits he knows that he will have to be at the top of his all-round game to succeed at this level.

“I enjoy every aspect of the game not just bowling,” he added.

“These days you have to perform well at every part of the game, whether that’s with the ball in your hand, fielding or batting.

“Whenever I play, I try to perform to the best of my ability at all the different qualities.

“I don’t just want to be seen as a spin bowler, I want to be seen as a genuine all-rounder and that means batting and fielding as well as I can.”