England opener Alex Lees has expressed his anticipation to play at Trent Bridge in the second Test match against New Zealand.
The left-hander made his home debut against the Black Caps in England’s five wicket win at Lord’s, having previously played on the winter tour to the West Indies.
But the former Yorkshire and current Durham man is looking forward to the relative home comforts of Trent Bridge, a ground at which he has scored two hundreds and three fifties in his county career.
“It probably isn’t in your immediate thoughts but, in your subconscious, you have a comforting feeling knowing that you have scored runs at this ground,” Lees said.
“I can’t wait for it. I love playing for England, so once I get in there and am batting, I want to bat for as long as I can.
“We had amazing support in the West Indies, but it is a whole different game with a home crowd.
“Not only are they nice moments for yourself but also the people who you have been friends with for years, or family members who have taken you to games, it is a really nice warming environment.”
Despite a First Class average of 56.55 in Nottingham, Lees is aware of the challenges batters can face at Trent Bridge.
Yet he maintains that the momentum stimulating win in the capital can help England forge success moving forwards.
And he is feeling confident as he prepares for his fifth appearance.
“The wicket can be conducive to seam bowling, but on the flip of that there are some big runs,” he said, “we are coming in hot into Notts, the boys are really looking forward to the next Test.
“Sometimes, as a top order batter, it is not necessarily how many you get but how you get them. I felt, particularly in this first Test, quite confident, so it is about taking that start and making it into a big [score] which is ultimately my role in the team.
“For me it was a great opportunity to get my first win in an England shirt. [Winning] is a habit, it puts down a marker.
And he praised the influence of Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum, England’s new captain and Head Coach.
Stokes is a teammate of Lees’ in the North East, and their bond has helped the 29-year-old bed into his role at the top of the order.
“There is a great atmosphere in the changing room,” he said.
“I am fortunate playing with Ben over the last couple of years at Durham. He is a really positive guy, he doesn’t take a backwards step. Him and Baz together are going to be a good team.
“Every player, unless you are very established, has that internal pressure that you put on yourself. I think, in respect to Stokes and Baz, there is no extra pressure on me, if anything it is alleviated.
“At the end of the day, it is down to me to get my runs. I’ve not made a substantial contribution just yet but I am feeling pretty good and under their guidance I should be alright.”
England versus New Zealand at our historic home
From James Anderson ripping through Australia, to Joe Root and Jos Buttler tons, day four fireworks are frankly commonplace at our historic home.
Secure your seats for day four of England against world champions New Zealand here…