England, Essex, England Lions
Tom Westley made his Second XI debut at just 15 and his first class debut at about 18 for Essex. He compiled his maiden first-class century against Derbyshire in 2009. Despite Essex's floundering fortunes in Division 2 for a long time, he never thought of switching over to a Division 1 team as he had the 'belief' that Essex would one day return to top-flight cricket. And last year, they were promoted to Division One. Westley has said on numerous occasions that he has tried to learn from his illustrious Essex teammate and the highest run-getter for England in Tests, Alastair Cook. Westley is known for his penchant to play shots through the on-side. In a County game against Worcestershire in May 2016, Daryl Mitchell, the opposition's captain, had tried to plug his scoring areas by stationing no less than five fielders in front of square on the leg-side and inside the circle. Westley, in an interview later, had said: \\"I still got it through twice,\\" in a light-hearted tone. Westley had crunched five hundreds for Essex last season (2016) and Cook had pushed for his case for national selection. However, the selectors were perhaps apprehensive of taking into consideration Division 2 runs. With Essex getting promoted to Division 1 for the 2017 season, he had a chance to showcase his skills. The promising cricketer delivered by notching up two hundreds in the Championship and crunched a century for England Lions against South Africa in a tour game, and earned a Test call-up. He had also compiled a fine hundred against the touring Australians in 2015. England's top-order wobbles meant that Westley was in line for international honours and the stage duly arrived after he was called-up mid-way through England's home series against South Africa. Having scored a century against the visitors in a practice match, he impressed on his debut at The Oval, making a half-century in just his second knock.His calmness under pressure and his ability to score tough runs marks him out from the rest of the contenders and Westley should get a reasonable run in England's top-order.