His first-class debut was a nightmare but on Thursday, Dominic Bess will be ready to make his mark against Pakistan at the headquarters of cricket, Lord’s.
The 20-year-old is seen as a surprising selection for the Lord’s Test but his recent first-class showings gave new head of selectors Ed Smith enough hints to throw him in the deep sea. Considering Pakistan’s past it could be a successful selection.
Eight years ago Pakistan gifted part-time spinner Marcus North six wickets in their loss to Australia in the neutral venue series and their fragility against Nathan Hauritz is no secret. That could prompt England to drop one from Mark Wood or Chris Woakes and give Test cap to Bess.
“Of course I do. There’s a lot of chat about me only playing 16 first-class matches, but I always believe that everything happens for a reason. I think it is obviously a freak accident that happened to Jack Leach and I am gutted for him – I saw him the other day. But when I got the phone call, I am just going to take this opportunity.”
In his short career the off-spinner has never played at Lord’s, so that could be another motivation to do well.
“I’m a massive rugby fan, love rugby,” he said. “My family, dad, two uncles are big rugby (fans) – so I always used to go to Twickenham. I absolutely loved that. So I never got the chance to come here. It will be a very special day if I get my chance to play out here.
“It is more for me the opportunity – I see it as a great opportunity. If I put pressure on myself as well, then there is only going to be a spiral.”
Bess said his senior Jack Leach, who made his Test debut in New Zealand earlier this year, but ruled out with an injury gave him enough advice.
“He absolutely loved (his debut) and I saw when he came back – him and Craig (Overton) – when you get a taste of it, you want it even more. I really got that vibe off Jack – and as soon as I’ve been here now, I want it. I want it more and more. I think that’s a very good trait to have.
“He told me that ‘You’re here for a reason, and you’ve just got to adapt now to the level up’. I hope that’s something I can do well.”