George back home but not for long

George Bartlett England

George Bartlett has hardly had time to unpack his bags after returning from the England Under 19 tour of India, before setting off with the rest of the Somerset squad for the pre-season training camp in Spain tomorrow (Monday).

The 19 year old top order right handed batsman, who was awarded a one year contract by the club after graduating through the Academy at the end of last summer, scored two half centuries and a 47 in the one-day games on the recent England tour.

However George excelled in the two Under 19 Test Matches, scoring an unbeaten 179 in the first, which was a new individual highest innings away from home by and England Under 19 player, and he followed that up with 68 in the second innings.

In the second Test Match George occupied the crease for a long time for his gutsy 76 which ensured that England held on to draw the match and the series.

George Somerset v Warwickshire, Second Eleven Twenty20, second Semi Final, Arundel Castle Cricket Club

About his recent exploits George said: “We got back from India on Sunday and this week I have been in training and undertaking all of the pre-season testing.  It’s nice to be back at Taunton with all of the boys but I won’t be here for too long because we are all off to Spain on Monday.

“I had a few ups and downs out there but overall it was a good trip and I certainly feel that I have learned a lot.  It was obviously very nice to get that big score under my belt, which showed that I can bat for a long period of time.  I was quite pleased with the way that I backed it up in the second innings with 68 when the team needed it which was good for me.

“We were very pleased to have drawn the four-day series and fought hard on all of the days that we played.  To come out with a draw in conditions where they expected to win easily was good for us.”

Somerset v Middlesex, Second Eleven Twenty20, Final, Arundel Castle Cricket Club

What did George feel he had learned from his Indian trip?  “I learnt a lot about being patient in the test series,” he said. “Their spinners bowled well and there weren’t too many bad balls. I also learnt a lot about what shots are applicable for the right situation.

“In the one-day games they played very attacking cricket and have very good skills and I feel I have picked up quite a lot from them.  I enjoy playing spin and I think that it is one of my strengths, playing against spin, hitting down the ground and being quite attacking, so to a certain extent it suited my game.”

Looking ahead to the 2017 season George said: “I will take it one step at a time but hopefully I will do well at Desert Springs and do all I can to impress and carry on with my form into the pre-season games and beyond.”

He added: “My ideal start to the season would to be included in the line up for the first game of the season against Essex, which is probably unlikely but you never quite know what might happen.  However I will be trying my best to make that happen and if it doesn’t then I will just try to keep scoring as many runs as possible and push my way into the team.”