Know your players – Dan Lawrence | England vs West Indies

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Background

He is touted as the “next big thing ” in the English cricket circuit. 22-year-old, Dan Lawrence was born in Leyteston, a part of West London in the United Kingdom. Dan Lawrence is easily one of the country’s most exciting talents and has had a fair share of experience of competitive cricket very early into his cricketing career. Lawrence started his cricket career at Chingford Cricket Club, a place to which he owes a lot of credit for his success in professional cricket. 

His father, MD Lawrence, still works as a groundsman at Chingford CC and is a place that Lawrence constantly visits to make sure he doesn’t forget his roots. Till the age of 13, Lawrence lived in a house on the ground at Chingford CC and now finds his name on Chingford’s website which pretty much sums up how this young boy has climbed up the ranks and what he means to those at Chingford CC. That young boy at Chingford has now grown up, and if you haven’t heard about him just yet, you might want to take note of this lad before he becomes a force to reckon with.

Claim to Fame

Dan Lawrence made his first-class debut against Kent in a county championship game back in 2015 at the age of 17 thanks to an injury to Tom Westley and IPL commitments of Ravi Bopara. His debut didn’t go very great after he managed to only make a sum total of 13 runs from his two innings, but what followed after that was fascinating. In his second-ever first-class game, Lawrence managed to score a fantastic 161 against Surrey which made him the third-youngest centurion of all time in the County Championship’s long history. This knock smashed some other records as well making him the youngest ever first-class centurion for Essex and also made him the youngest centurion at Oval.

He was then rewarded with a call up to the England U19 squad for the World Cup in 2016 where he made an instant impact in the very first game and shattered records. He scored 174 off 150 balls against Fiji U19 side which was the highest ever score by an English batsman in a youth ODI. He finished the tournament as the third-highest run-getter as he amassed a total of 315 from 6 games at an average of 52.15. By then, the name of Dan Lawrence had started to make rounds in the domestic circuit and people were excited to see what he could bring to the Essex side, which were looking for promotion to the first division.

 

He then carried on his rich vein of form and had a stellar season for Essex and was quite instrumental in the campaign that saw them gain promotion to division one of the County Championship. In 15 games that season he scored a total of 902 runs at an average of 42.95, not bad numbers for a man who was only playing his first full season in the County Championship. The newly-promoted Essex scripted a fairytale of sorts winning the Championship in 2017 for the first time in 25 years and Dan Lawrence starred again with 761 runs at an average of 44.76 and three triple-digit scores. He was awarded the Young Cricketer of the Year by Cricket Writers’ Club for his exploits in that season.

Lawrence then followed it up with a 2018 not worth remembering and had an early set back after two stellar seasons with the bat. He averaged only 23.40 with the bat in the season of 2018 and decided he had some real work to put into the technical aspects of his game. He was dropped from the Lions squad and in this time he moved to Cape Town and put in a lot of effort into his batting. He recalls the time as something which consisted of “a lot of boring drills and hitting a lot of balls”.

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He changed his trigger movement in this period and started being more still at the time when the bowler was at their delivery stride a change which he feels had made him a much better cricketer. He was very keen on developing his white-ball game as well as he wanted to ensure he doesn’t become a one-dimensional cricketer and has had some serious progress in his white-ball game over this period but of course, Test match cricket remains at the pinnacle of his ambitions.

After the technical changes, he found some good success in the 2019 season and scored 147 at Chelmsford in a game against Surrey a knock which he rates highly because run making is considered to be quite hard at Chelmsford and not to forget that he plays half of his games at this very ground. He was back amongst the runs in 2019 after a poor show in 2018 scoring 725 runs at a healthy average of 38.15 and Essex was back as the champions of the County Championship.

The performance that has made his name find a way to the England training squad for the series vs West Indies has to be his numbers in the tour of down under with the England Lions side. He impressed massively in both white ball and red ball formats on the tour. He finished the tour with a grand total of 493 runs at an average of 98.60 and what stood out was his 125 against the Australia A side in the unofficial Test against a good quality bowling attack. This eventually acting as an audition for the Ashes of 21/22 Down Under, Dan Lawrence has done no harm to his credentials. His bowling has also been a highly improving feature of his cricket with the current England coach Chris Silverwood terming it as ‘ Essex’s secret Twenty20 weapon’.

Records

Dan Lawrence averages 38.42 in First-Class cricket after 70 games with 3804 runs next to his name and 10 hundreds and 17 fifties to add to it. Considering he plays half of his games at a bowler-friendly Chelmsford track you have to give him credits for his impeccable consistency barring the season of 2018. He averages 26.8 in List A games with 1 hundred and 4 half-centuries. 

There is a different sense of aura that Lawrence brings with his batting, something that will surely catch your attention. At the age of 22, Dan Lawrence has already seen the ups and downs in the life of a cricketer and played around 70 first-class games and has had a successful tour of Down Under next to his name. With plenty of years left in him watch out for this bloke as he is a name you will hear for many years to come in the English cricket fraternity.



Freelance cricket writer. Taking small strides in this giant industry. Writes at Sportskeeda and CricTracker