A bright young prospect, Tom Banton is being looked at as the next big thing in English cricket. Though yet to make his Test and One Day International (ODI) debut, Banton has shown his class in the three T20 Internationals (T20Is) that he has played for England so far.
With the best score of 31, the 21-year-old has not produced some astonishing numbers in his limited opportunities. But his strike-rate of 164.7 is there for everyone to see. Banton owns a dominating strike-rate of over 160 in other T20s as well which has made him one of the most feared T20 batsmen in current times. He is also a proud owner of an average of almost 35.
Showing faith in the young talent, two-time IPL champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) roped him in the auction, held in Kolkata in December last year. However, former England cricket team captain Michael Vaughan has advised the youngster to skip IPL and instead play county cricket with Somerset.
Michael Vaughan asks Tom Banton to skip IPL
Currently one of the most talked-about T20 batsmen in the world, Banton is expected to take the IPL 2020 by storm. But Vaughan has suggested that he should eye a spot in the Test team and not focus much on T20 cricket, which is definitely Banton’s strong zone.
“If I were in charge I would be on the phone this week to Tom Banton telling him to give up his IPL deal and play the first few weeks of the county season for Somerset because there is a slot available at No 6 in the Test side,” Vaughan wrote in his column for Telegraph Sport.
The former cricketer believed that Banton is a future star and contrary to his playing style Vaughan thinks the explosive batsman has the potential to become a great Test cricketer. He wrote, “I have seen enough of Banton to know he is a superstar in the making. I’m not sure a stint in the IPL right now when he might not get a lot of game time, is what he needs at this stage of his career.”
The 45-year-old further wrote that Banton needs to score some early hundreds in red-ball cricket to make his case for the Three Lions’ Test squad. “The IPL can wait. He has plenty of time to go to India. He needs to play four-day cricket and score some early hundreds,” he further wrote.
Banton was in stupendous form in last season’s T20 Blast in England. Turning the heat up for Kent, he scored 549 runs at a staggering strike-rate of 161.47 with four half-centuries. In the Royal London One Day Cup as well, the 50-overs domestic competition in England, Banton put into display his brilliance of white-ball cricket by smashing 454 runs.
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