Nottinghamshire spinner Matt Carter admits he didn’t feel out of place as he made his spectacular debut for the England Lions against India A on Sunday.
The 22-year-old only made his limited-overs debut in May last year but his performances impressed England selectors enough for a place on the Lions tour to India, where he’s trained alongside senior England international spinners Danny Briggs and Dom Bess.
After receiving his Lions cap from former Nottinghamshire and England spinner Peter Such, Carter went on to dismiss two India internationals in Krunal Pandya and Jayant Yadav as he returned figures of 2/23 from 10 overs.
The Lions failed to chase down 173, meaning Carter’s debut ended in defeat, but he vowed to keep up the hard work that got him to this position.
“I’m pretty pleased with my performance, but it’s obviously disappointing about the result. I’m happy with myself because it shows the hard work leading up to this was worth it. It’s all worked out for me and has helped me do what I did,” he said.
“When I was 12th man [in the first two matches] I felt like I was ready and raring to go. I’ve been doing a lot of training on the days off, so I’ve been keeping topped up when not playing until I got this chance.
“It’s interesting bowling over here. Obviously it’s very different because they’re very good players of spin, but I didn’t feel out of place. I played most of the tournament in the white ball games [for Nottinghamshire] last year, so I just stuck to what I did in those games and it seems to have worked today, so I need to keep nailing my skills so it happens again.”
Lions tours are an opportunity for young players to experience playing in unfamiliar conditions against their peers in other countries.
Carter has enjoyed learning about his game alongside coach Such in southern India, with the team based in Trivandrum, Kerala, for the early part of the tour. While many of the wickets used so far have not looked too dissimilar to those experienced in the UK, Carter has adapted his game to exploit the conditions.
“Trent Bridge isn’t renowned for spin, although it plays slow, whereas out here it’s slow and it does spin, so you’ve almost got to bowl it that bit quicker,” he said. “If I bowl it slow it just sits up and gets hit, which you can afford to do at Trent Bridge. Bowling a little bit quicker is definitely worth it out here.”
The final two games of the five-match ODI series against India A take place on Tuesday and Thursday, ahead of the two unofficial Test matches, starting February 7.
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