5 things about Essex batsman Tom Westley

19 July 2017 12:54

Tom Westley is being touted ahead of the other possibles to fill the gap left by Gary Ballance's injury at number three in the Oval Test.

Here, Press Association Sport casts an eye over the Essex batsman's CV to date.


As Essex's inked-in number three, Westley has spent a fair part of the summer already watching former Test captain and national record runscorer Alastair Cook piling plenty more on this summer. Westley has been no slouch himself this season, but Cook was in prolific form as he waited for England's Test schedule to resume. Should he get the nod for the Oval, Westley ought to feel at home - having also played alongside England's other incumbent opener Keaton Jennings for England Lions in his most recent first-class match.


Westley did not waste that opportunity for England's second string against the touring South Africans. On the last day of the three-day fixture at Worcester, between June 29 and July 1, he had a good look at most of the attack he may face next week - and finished with an unbeaten 106. Morne Morkel, Kagiso Rabada, Chris Morris and Keshav Maharaj were among the bowlers who could not get him out. There was no Vernon Philander at New Road, though.


He was already finding out what it is like to measure up against a Test player or two, at the age of 15. A young Westley made his Essex 2nd XI championship debut in 2004, only just out of his short trousers, against Middlesex opponents led by a player at the other end of the age scale - former England off-spinner John Emburey, then 51. Four years later, he was becoming an Essex first-team regular by the time he joined England at the Under-19s World Cup in Malaysia.


Westley has always been considered captaincy material, in age-group and university teams as well as England Under-19s. He was earmarked for further responsibility with England Lions too, as subsequently was Jennings, after impressing when the new 'recruits' were set initiative and management tasks at pre-tour sessions organised by head coach Andy Flower at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.


Westley can turn his arm over with a little off-spin, and has taken 55 wickets in his 10-year first-class career. He is reportedly handy with the woods as well as the leather, though, it turns out - having regularly played a few ends at Radwinter Bowls Club in Saffron Walden.

Source: PA