Porter talks recent batting form, England and wickets


Jamie Porter’s recent batting form has come as a surprise to most Essex fans, but the improvement hasn’t come as a shock to Porter himself at all.

The seamer, called up by England for 3 Test squads this summer, had managed just 32 Specsavers County Championship runs before he went out to face Surrey at Chelmsford last week. He not only more than doubled his aggregate during the match, in adding 12 and 31, he surpassed his previous highest total of 9 in both innings.

Porter explained: “I was getting frustrated. I was going out there, trying to hold up an end and I was facing quite a few balls, but probably only getting 2 runs and then getting out, and that’s not really a contribution.

“I’ve been working with our batting coaches and, of course, Mags [Anthony McGrath]. I probably took it upon myself when I went away with England. Their approach to batting down the order is a little bit different, they like to be more aggressive, play more shots and try and make a significant contribution.

“I worked with some of the coaches there and did a lot with Paul Farbrace, who is really good. He worked on a few things that went well and helped get me moving a little better.

“Runs down the order are very valuable, and I want to get selected in that Test squad. I think if I can start contributing down the order for Essex, that’s definitely going to help my cause.”

Porter contributed 31 of the 51 runs in the ninth-wicket partnership with Ravi Bopara in a 36-ball stay at the wicket as Essex made Surrey bat again.

“We agreed that if we were just going to block and bat time, eventually there would be a ball with my name on it. Runs were more important, and it was a situation where we had nothing to lose, we were so far behind the game.

“They were putting the field up for Ravi and there were plenty of opportunities for me to score, so we decided to take as many runs as we could. I decided that anything full I was going to have a go, if it was short I was just going to get out of the way.”

Back with the ball, Porter has 35 Championship wickets with 3 matches remaining – starting at Trent Bridge today against Nottinghamshire – to reach 50 for a fourth successive season.

Porter said: “I haven’t really got a target, to be honest. If I was bowling badly I probably would, but this game just gone [against Surrey] I don’t think I could have bowled any better and I only took two wickets.

“The ball’s coming out well, and I felt very good with my rhythm and everything so I’m feeling pretty confident about the remainder if the season. The most important thing as a team is that we’re winning, and I want to contribute to that.”