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Onus is clearly on staying grounded despite records: Brook

Last updated on 24 Feb 2023 | 11:21 AM
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Onus is clearly on staying grounded despite records: Brook

Harry Brook also reckoned that it was far away from a flat pitch that he had faced in Pakistan

After the first nine Test innings, no other batter in international cricket has more runs than the 24-year-old Harry Brook. The right-hander after just nine innings has scored 807 runs, averaging 100.88 with a never-seen before strike-rate of 99.4, bettering records of legendary cricketers such as Sunil Gavaskar and Don Bradman. 

But it wasn’t a flat pitch, England were caught in a mess at 21/3, with Ben Duckett walking back for just nine runs. Then the onus was Joe Root and Brook, and the latter was at his influential best, scoring 184, his highest Test score, off just 169 deliveries at a strike-rate of 108.88. 

"I'm sure it'll come down very quickly," Brook said of that statistic. "The onus is clearly on staying grounded despite the tumbling records, and even putting forward a strong case for a fourth Player-of-the-Match award in a row. I've just said now actually good times at the minute, but just around the corner there might be bad times so you've got to enjoy these moments and cash in as much as I can.

Since his days as the England U-19 skipper, Brook has endured tough times, including incidents off the field that has in the past kept him away from the field. But that’s what has made the right-hander tougher, with the Yorkshire batter stating that staying ‘level-headed’ was something that he worked on.

"One of the things I've tried to work on over the last few years is staying as level headed as possible. There could be a bad moment from the corner and anything could happen, so enjoy the good moments. But we've still got four days left to play, and hopefully I can be a vital part of it tomorrow."

They key to batting on such surfaces, according to Brook, is to bat time, something that he had done prodigiously over the day. At the end of the day’s play, the right-hander had scored 24 boundaries and five sixes, and ensured that England were in a position of dominance, at 315/3.  

"I think so," Brook said when asked if this was the top of his four three-figure scores. "The position of the game makes that decision, to be honest. The ones in Pakistan were amazing and good fun, but they were all very flat pitches. Today wasn't a flat pitch. It's a good cricket wicket, but not a flat pitch where you can smack it everywhere. I've done that a little bit, but it's a pretty good pitch.

 "It (the pitch) always gets easier when the ball gets a bit older. The longer you bat, it gets easier too. The hardest part about batting is the first 20 balls. If you get through that, it gradually starts to get easier. The ball got a bit older and it probably didn't seem to do as much. There was still a little bit there, and a little bit of bounce."

There's one thing that Brook hasn't quite yet ticked off the chart - a double-century - something that he hopes to tick on day two of the second Test between England and New Zealand. Brook, though won't be the first in the family to score a double-century, with his dad, David Brook having scored 210. So, clearly there's some competition in the family.

"My dad's highest score is 210, and my highest [first-class] score is 194. So that's in the back of my mind at the minute," he said. "But obviously [I] need to face the first ball tomorrow, which is the main thing."

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