Durham’s Scott Borthwick hoping winter form can lead to England recall

Scott Borthwick, right, on his England debut with fellow Durham star Ben Stokes

Scott Borthwick, right, on his England debut with fellow Durham star Ben Stokes

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Scott Borthwick is hoping he can convert a successful winter in New Zealand into good performances for Durham at the Emirates Riverside.

The Sunderland­-born left-hander spent three months playing for Wellington in the Plunket Shield ­New Zealand’s equivalent of the County Championhip, ­ and scored two centuries in six First Class games for the club.

He chipped in with the ball too, taking seven wickets during the same time he was working under the guidance of New Zealand and Warwickshire spinner Jeetan Patel.

“I had a really good winter in New Zealand,” Borthwick said.

“Things worked out really well over there. I managed to score a few runs and get myself in the wickets too, so overall I’m in a good place and looking to carry it all on with Durham this season.

“Jeetan is a great lad too. He definitely knows his spin bowling and came across as a really good coach.”

Borthwick had his best season to date with the bat last year, scoring 1,286 four­-day runs at an average of 42.87.

However with the ball he was a little starved of the action, taking only 15 wickets in the 16 County Championship games last term.

But he hopes he will have more chance to bowl his leg­-breaks this season, starting tomorrow when Durham play Middlesex in the second game of their Specsavers County Championship campaign.

“I still see myself as an all-­rounder looking to win games for Durham,” Borthwick added.

“Hopefully I will get more chance with the ball this season, whether it is because the wickets are becoming flatter or the fact there’s no toss, which with either in most games will mean we will most likely be bowling towards the back end of game when the ball is turning a bit more.”

Just turned 26, Borthwick still has aspirations of building on his one Test match cap for England too, picked up in the Fifth Ashes Test in Sydney in January 2014.

“I have only played in the one Test match, but to be playing in that Ashes test in Sydney was a great feeling,” he added.

“The atmosphere was something I had never experienced before and I am itching to play again, whether it be as a batsman who bowls or a geniune all-rounder.

“Hopefully I will be able to score the runs and take the wickets this season to keep me in the hunt for another call up.”