Surrey pacer Gus Atkinson in England contention for New Zealand T20Is
Atkinson grabbed the attention of selectors with bowling up to 95mph in the Hundred.
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Gus Atkinson, the talented fast bowler from Surrey, is on the verge of earning his maiden call-up to the England squad in the upcoming four-match T20I series against New Zealand, which is scheduled to start from August 30.
Atkinson, 25, has grabbed the attention of the England selectors this summer, clocking speeds of up to 95mph/153kph in in the Hundred, where he is playing for the Oval Invincibles. While Atkinson faced some initial challenges against Manchester Originals, including being hit for a six by Jos Buttler and bowling a beamer, he showcased his mettle by eventually outpacing Buttler with a 94mph hard-length delivery during a subsequent free hit. His various collection of deliveries, including an off-cutter and an 87mph bouncer, outfoxed the seasoned batter.
Atkinson's consistent pace and brilliant variations have been evident throughout the summer, prompting Invincibles' batters to opt out of facing him in the nets after he struck Will Jacks on the elbow. Despite the scare, Jacks was cleared of any significant injury ahead of their match against Welsh Fire.
Gus Atkinson in national contention amid injury concerns of first-choice stars
During the T20 Blast, Atkinson took 13 wickets at an average of 29.15 and economy rate of 8.77, contributing to Surrey's journey to the semi-finals. He has continued his impressive bowling performance into the ongoing Hundred, with combined figures of 6 for 72 in 54 balls across three matches he has played.
With England's fast-bowling options possibly limited due to injuries to Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Olly Stone, Atkinson's chances of selection for the T20I series against New Zealand are on the rise. Furthermore, even if he misses out on that squad, he is highly likely to be included in the upcoming Caribbean tour in December, as England plans to rest their primary fast bowlers after the World Cup 20023.