Will be brilliant to share dressing room with Kohli and ABD: Garton

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16 Sep 2021 | 05:25 AM
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Will be brilliant to share dressing room with Kohli and ABD: Garton

The left-arm paceman will fly to the UAE on Sunday for his maiden IPL stint

The last two months have been phenomenal for Royal Challengers Bangalore's latest recruit George Garton. The left-arm paceman from England won The Hundred with Southern Brave, has made it to Vitality Finals Day with Sussex, and will now fly to the United Arab Emirates on Sunday for his maiden Indian Premier League stint.

The year 2021 has been a rollercoaster one for Garton, having made it to the England squad against Sri Lanka and subsequently against Pakistan, he couldn't make his international debut after Covid hit the England camp and an entirely new set of players had to be deployed. However, the all-rounder made a visible impact with Southern Braves in The Hundred, which has then pushed him onto the IPL stage. While Adam Milne finished the tournament as the leading wicket-taker (12 wickets), Garton ended the competition with ten clips. 

"(RCB coach) Mike Hesson gave me a call at the backend of The Hundred to ask if I was interested, which I obviously was! One amazing thing The Hundred did was put the English domestic game on a platform for the international market and for international eyes. Every game was televised and it gave people like myself and other domestic cricketers, who are not playing international cricket at the time, a platform we deserved and the chance to showcase what we can do," Garton told Sky Sports.

"I am in a really good place mentally and physically and really excited for the next couple of weeks, hopefully winning Finals Day and then the IPL. I'm expecting a lot of fun in the IPL. It's a really strong competition. I'll be trying to tap into everyone I can and learn as much as possible in a short amount of time.

"Virat is one of the icons of the game worldwide. I have not met him before but I have obviously watched him score a lot of runs. I am a very competitive person. I like being upfront and honest and that seems exactly how he is, so I am very excited to meet him. It will be brilliant to share a dressing room with him, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, who is a proven T20 player around the world. They are a star-studded team and I'll be looking to tap into their knowledge."

Also read: George Garton’s massive jump from a shark to a Royal

Garton was called into the Ashes squad in 2017-18 as cover for Jake Ball and was also part of the ODI set-up that whitewashed Sri Lanka 3-0. He was retained for the three-match series against Pakistan but that’s when the Covid struck the England camp. “It was a tad frustrating with the Covid stuff but having been out of the England system for three or four years it was lovely to be back involved and around the squad.

"It was a nice reminder for me of that's where I want to be and that my performances over the last year and a half are paying off. I think I have developed massively, both on and off the pitch (since that Ashes tour). I am not just an angry fast bowler that runs in and tries to bowl as fast as he can anymore. There are a few more strings to my bow.

"My knowledge of my bowling, when to turn it on, when to bowl within myself. Being more accurate. My skills around red-ball cricket as well. My batting has also come on a lot. It is certainly something I work really hard on and I want to be seen as a genuine all-rounder. I feel I am developing nicely. There is still a long way to go but, definitely, if I look back to the cricketer I was three years ago there have been big developments."

Garton feels he has improved physically as well as technically after injures earlier in his career. As much as it hurts me to say it, my body probably needed to go through that period of change, pain and hardship to come out the other side a bit stronger and more mature," said Garton, who has claimed 44 wickets in 38 T20s.

"It is a hard pill to swallow and took me a couple of years to accept it but in the end, you have to accept there are going to be a few injuries along the way, especially when you are younger. When I talk about developing, it's about understanding my body and what I can put myself through, bowling through a bit more pain.

"It's all a learning curve and there aren't many bowlers who don't go through that early in their career. I am working hard on staying as fit and flexible as possible and finding out the right plan for me. It has taken a few years, and a few injuries, but I am happy."

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