12/04/2022
England debutant Richard Gleeson hopes to earn T20 World Cup call up with consistent performances after a 3 for 15 display against India.

Gleeson got rid of the Indian top three – skipper Rohit Sharma, star batter Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant with his fifth, seventh and eighth deliveries during the second T20I, which the tourists won by 49 runs.

The 34-year-old, who finished with impressive figures of 3/15 in his quota of 4 overs that also included a maiden over, said he was disappointed with the loss, but delighted to have put up a brilliant display against India on debut.

“Great to make my debut, but it’s all about winning games of cricket really, at the end of the day. So it’s disappointing to lose, but on a personal note, great start,” Gleeson said at the post-match press conference.

With the T20 World Cup around the corner, Gleeson, who started playing professional cricket at 27, hopes he can make the cut for the marquee event.

“You want to play in the big occasions, don’t you? So, yeah, why not? I’ll just look towards the next game and go from there.

“(England selection) wasn’t anywhere near my radar. It was just to play the highest standard that I could. I just want to keep playing cricket and enjoying it, playing for as long as I can. Who knows? If I keep performing, anything could happen.”

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After being put into bat and setting a target of 171, the Indian bowlers led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, bowled beautifully to bundle out the hosts for 121 and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Gleeson felt India had scored a little over par and followed up with a brilliant bowling display right from the start of England’s run-chase and put the hosts on the back foot.

Richard Gleeson dimissed Virat Kohli during the 2nd T20I

“I think maybe they (India) were a little bit over-par. And then they started well with the ball. So that’s always going to put us on the back foot, and they bowled well. But that can be the way T20 cricket goes at times.

“You play the game hard, so sometimes you come off, sometimes you don’t. It’s just you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth if you’re going to play that way, and I don’t think we’ll be taking a backwards step in the next game.”

The right-arm quick had suffered a career-threatening stress fracture of the lower back in 2020. And Gleeson reflected on the injury, stating he was considering retirement.

“It wasn’t me contemplating retirement. It’s something that would have been forced upon me. (The recovery) was a long, slow process. Unfortunately, because of my age, it takes a little bit longer to heal from things like that. But (playing again) makes it all worthwhile,” Gleeson added.

With the series already lost, Gleeson and England will hope for a consolation victory when they face India in the third and final T20I at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham on Sunday (July 10).