BY MARCUS HOOK
Surrey have unearthed another gem in Will Jacks, who notched up a maiden championship hundred this week, against Kent, to add to the 121 off 100 balls he bludgeoned against Gloucestershire last season in a 50-over game, when he first announced himself on the county stage.
Jacks is only 20. The similarities with Jason Roy are obvious. Roy was the same age when he made his maiden championship ton and both like to dominate the bowling.
But what I like about Will is he bats according to the situation.
In Surrey’s opening championship game of the season he kept Ryan Patel company after an early wobble against Essex. But, by the time when the pair were separated, Surrey were 332-5.
In the next four-dayer, he made 54 in the second dig to put the kibosh on Somerset’s hopes of forcing a victory and this week he took guard with Surrey on 65-5.
At no stage, however, did Jacks appear to be compromised by Surrey’s plight.
Okay, the conditions were ideal for batting and Kent’s attack isn’t as daunting as most, but in that situation he and Scott Borthwick had a job on their hands.
When you think that Patel, who opened his 2019 championship account with an unbeaten century, cannot get into the side now, just imagine the sort of headache Alec Stewart and Michael Di Venuto would have had if Dominic Sibley had not exited Surrey two seasons ago.
From youngsters to old-timers, it’s been great to see that Gareth Batty can still be an influence with the ball.
Since a near 600-day gap between County Championship appearances, he has weighed in with five wickets. His 3-49 on the second day against Kent put a totally different complexion on the proceedings at Beckenham this week.
PICTURES BY KEITH GILLARD