Henry Brookes admits the experienced players around him in the Warwickshire team were a huge help to him during his eye-catching first Specsavers County Championship appearance of the season.
Eighteen-year-old seam-bowling all-rounder Brookes was called up to the side for the visit to Northamptonshire in the light of injuries to Keith Barker and Olly Stone.
The Edgbaston academy product seized his opportunity spectacularly. With the ball he took three wickets and played his full part as the Bears’ seam-attack comprehensively outbowled their Northants counterparts. With the bat he scored 70 and featured in a ninth-wicket partnership of 117 with Tim Ambrose which gave Jeetan Patel’s side a control they never relinquished.
When I got to the crease, at first I just got my head down and supported Tim for a while but later on I started to get a little bit expansive and some of the strokes came off quite nicely.Henry Brookes
It was impressive stuff all-round from Brookes and, along with Ryan Sidebottom’s ten wickets in the match, suggested the Bears’ seam department possesses the depth it will need during a long county season.
“We had a good first innings with the ball,” said Brookes. “Ryan bowled really well and the other bowlers backed him up nicely and then we batted well with a lot of guys chipping in.
“When I got to the crease, at first I just got my head down and supported Tim for a while but later on I started to get a little bit expansive and some of the strokes came off quite nicely. It was great to have Amby at the other end. He is a real calming influence and just takes it ball-by-ball and step-by-step so it was a great opportunity for me to bat with someone of his experience.
“It was similar with the ball. The three seamers and Jeets bowled really well as a unit, just trying to dot the batsmen up and keep them going nowhere, as we call it. We did that, built pressure and the wickets kept coming on the back of that.
“I really enjoyed it. I just tried my hardest as I always do and always will for Warwickshire.”