Alastair Cook confirms debut for Keaton Jennings in Mumbai

Alastair Cook confirms debut for Keaton Jennings in Mumbai

Keaton Jennings
Durham batsman Keaton Jennings. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

England skipper will be walking out with another new batting partner in the upcoming 4th test against England. After teenager Haseeb Hameed, who opened in the first three matches of the ongoing five-match series, Cook will have left-handed Keaton Jennings as his batting companion to face the new ball. He will be Cook’s 11th opening partner since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in August 2012.

While Jennings’ preparation is not perfect, Cook said he was reminded of his own debut “10 years ago” when he flew into India 48 hours ahead of the game and hit a century in the Nagpur Test of 2006.

The 24-year-old batsman, son of South Africa’s Ray Jennings, plays for Durham and the England Lions in first-class cricket and received a call-up after Hameed was ruled out of the series owing to a finger injury. The English team is currently trailing 0-2 in the series after losing the 2nd and the 3rd Test in Vizag and Mohali respectively. The visitors were the better side in the opening encounter at Rajkot which ended in a draw.

His father Ray Jennings represented South Africa in 14 unofficial Tests in an Apartheid affected career. By the time the era was over, his playing days were long behind him by the time. Junior Keaton, born in Johannesburg, has played and captained the South Africa U-19 team. But, now is set for his Test debut, for England—a country he moved to only in 2011.  The same year, he joined the Durham’s academy and the next year he threw his name to play for Durham and England and started his four-year residency qualification.

“Alastair Cook confirms that @JetJennings will make his Test debut tomorrow & becomes his 14th test opening partner.”

Meanwhile, Cook also stated that Stuart Broad’s chances of playing as 50:50. Broad sustained a foot injury during the Visakhapatnam Test and subsequently missed the game in Mohali. He did raise hopes of being fit after bowling in the training session on Tuesday and Wednesday but the England camp have yet to make a decision over his involvement.