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    Jamie Smith: I’m ready to keep for England, even if I don’t for Surrey
Jamie Smith: I’m ready to keep for England, even if I don’t for Surrey
Jamie Smith is a Bazballer in waiting. Source: telegraph.co.uk

Jamie Smith: I’m ready to keep for England, even if I don’t for Surrey

Smith will soon get the opportunity to display his skills on a larger platform because he has supporters in the England squad.

Jamie Smith makes the appropriate noises when you ask him if he feels ready to play for England. "Yes, if it comes." Ask him directly if he believes he is prepared to hold the wicket at the Test level as well, and he won't alter his opinion. "Absolutely," he responds.

It is a confidence that England will be happy to hear, and he would be a Bazball pick—a youthful, attractive batsman who isn't even Surrey's first-choice keeper.

In an interview with Telegraph Sport, Smith speaks intelligently without coming across as conceited or overconfident. He also shows respect when asked the K-question, which is about keeping wicket, constantly gesturing to his friend and Surrey teammate Ben Foakes, who is presently the England wicketkeeper.

However, with James Anderson's forced retirement, that might be the next move, and Smith, who bats at four for Surrey and only keeps when Foakes is unavailable, is a good contender to take over.

Rob Key is a huge admirer of Smith's and has mentioned him multiple times in recent interviews as a player to watch. Following a coming-of-age summer in 2023, he scored his first century of the season with a brilliant 155 against Warwickshire two weeks ago. He is ready to play for England, but more likely as a specialist batter, according to Surrey's director of cricket Alec Stewart and head coach Gareth Batty. However, you have to keep in mind that they cannot support him to keep while their guy Foakes now has the position.

Smith worked with Andy Flower at the Gulf Giants and the ILT20 during the winter, and he held a wicket for England in two One-Day Internationals against Ireland at the end of last summer. Flower feels that he is prepared to keep wicket for England, and he will don the gloves during Surrey's Blast matches, which take place in June. This will allow him to hone his skills in wicketkeeping before the first Test in July.

“For me, any way you can get in is the most important thing. As things stand, I’m not keeping Surrey apart from one game so logically it suggests maybe it is more likely to happen as a batter but you never know. I’m happy to keep wicket and would not be fazed doing that either,” Smith stated.

Smith has delighted in the traditional Surrey road, attending Whitgift School on a cricket scholarship and going through the club's channels to join the England Lions and first team. He is a gifted all-around athlete who focused on cricket after playing for AFC Wimbledon till he was 15 years old. Stewart believes he is without a doubt Surrey's top football player. Interestingly, Smith's father does not play cricket, but they are both avid West Ham supporters who travel both domestically and internationally to watch their side play. Despite his success, Smith claims that no one else has any "massive plans" to follow him, as he is the first to play the sport at any level.

At the age of six or seven, he took up the game for the first time when his parents enrolled him in a summer session at Sutton Cricket Club. Like many other young kids of the time, he was motivated by the 2005 Ashes. Even at the age of five, he was affected by the series that swept the country.

His deftness at the crease, frequently advancing at seamers in England to establish himself and neutralise swing and seam, may be attributed to his footballing abilities. In first-class cricket, he averages forty, and since the beginning of the previous season, 45.2. He is brash, likes to make an impression right away, and attributes his approach to Surrey and the good energy that McCullum and Ben Stokes exude. He can communicate with them.

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