Lotus365 Lotus365 News Will Jacks eyeing one crazy month to make ODI World Cup cut for England

Will Jacks eyeing one crazy month to make ODI World Cup cut for England

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Will Jacks ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/will-jacks-897549) wants to “become a mainstay” for England across formats after making his international debuts last winter, and is using his old Under-19 team-mate Harry Brook as inspiration as he looks to force his way into their World Cup squad.

Jacks played twice for England in all three formats in 2022-23, making his T20I and Test debuts in Pakistan and his ODI bow in Bangladesh, and is one of several players on the fringes of the white-ball set-up looking to make a late push for inclusion in the 15-member squad that travels to India.

After a dominant season for Surrey in the T20 Blast ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/vitality-blast-2023-1347399), Jacks has 101 runs in five innings for table-topping Oval Invincibles in the Hundred ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/the-hundred-men-s-competition-2023-1355567). His next match against London Spirit on Tuesday night comes after England’s white-ball selection meeting earlier in the day, but the ICC allow changes to provisional World Cup squads until September 28.

Ben Stokes’ mooted return from ODI retirement ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/ben-stokes-potential-odi-return-for-the-world-cup-tops-england-selectors-agenda-1392607) means that Jacks is unlikely to be named in the initial 15-member squad, but he remains hopeful that he will get a chance to force his case against New Zealand and Ireland next month.

“It’s hard to know, but I’m still hopeful that I’ll get an opportunity,” Jacks, 24, told ESPNcricinfo. “I’ve just got to try and finish this Hundred well and hopefully get an opportunity in September to show what I can do.

“It is what it is: you’ve just got to do as well as you can and see what happens. I’ve now had a taste of it and I want to become a mainstay. I want to be involved in as many teams as I can and stay there for as long as I can.

“It’s a tough thing to do and, like Brooky over the last 12 months, you’ve really got to do something special to keep yourself in there and to kick someone else out. Maybe all you need is one crazy month and you find yourself in a different situation. Things can change quickly.”

Even if this World Cup comes too soon, Alex Hales’ retirement from international cricket ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/england-alex-hales-international-retirement-1390832) means that Jacks will be in the selection frame for the defence of their 20-over title in the Caribbean and the US in June 2024.

“There’s a comp every year for the next five years: it’s a bit crazy,” he said. “Over the next five years, hopefully I’ll get some opportunities to represent England at a World Cup or a Champions Trophy. I’ve got to keep working hard, doing my thing and try to force my way into that team.

“It’s obviously quite a hard thing to do. But that squad has been around for quite a long time. I guess the guys are getting older and at different stages of their career, so hopefully, for a younger person like myself, there’ll be opportunities going forward and I’ll be able to nail down a spot.”

Jacks has England’s Test tour to India early next year “in the back of my mind” and “would love to be involved”, having missed out on the chance to play there earlier this year when injury put paid to an IPL stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“Playing in India would be an incredible experience. It’s still a long way away, but it will creep up quickly and that’s England’s next Test. It depends on the make-up of the team, how many spinners they take, how many they play, but it’s something that I’d be really excited to do.”

Jacks is an unusual part-time offspinner, who looks to use his height and spin the ball hard rather than bowling flat darts. “I really try to get over the ball and spin it,” he explained. “In India, you see a lot of guys bowl – not darts, but with a very square seam and the pitch does a lot of the work for them.

“You don’t see too many guys bowl with as upright a seam as they can, to get that drift and dip. That’s something I think does work in my favour. I’ll never be the most technical bowler; I’m more about going through the thought process of the batter and getting it down there.”

Regardless of which England squads he makes, Jacks’ winter will be spent playing cricket somewhere, having already been retained by Pretoria Capitals ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/sa20-2024-player-auction-to-take-place-in-johannesburg-on-september-27-1390673) in the SA20. “If I’m not involved [with England] then there’s franchise opportunities all over,” he said. “I’m hoping I’ll be busy.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98

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