England opener Dominic Sibley has had a roller coaster ride when it comes to Test cricket. Amid single-digit failures, there have been couple of brilliant centuries, none more so that Dominic Sibley’s 120-run knock in the second Test against the West Indies.
Former England pacer Darren Gough threw his weight behind young Dominic Sibley, who scored 56 in the second innings of the third Test after getting a duck in the first essay.
Dominic Sibley scored a First-Class double hundred facing R Ashwin last season
Darren Gough had full faith in Dominic Sibley’s ability to play spin bowling especially after he scored a double century for his county side Warwickshire while facing Indian off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who turned out for Nottinghamshire last season.
"People keep telling me he can't play against spin. I got told the other day that he got a double hundred against Ashwin,” Darren Gough said on Sky Sports’ The Cricket Debate show.
Darren Gough, who turned out in 58 Tests and 159 ODIs for England, said that Ravichandran Ashwin was one of the best spinners in the world, ‘if not the best’.
Playing for Warwickshire, Dominic Sibley had scored an unbeaten 215 against Nottinghamshire last year with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin being among the opposition bowlers.
“Ashwin is one of the best spinners in the world, if not the best, and he got a double against him and smacked him to all parts apparently. So, if he can play against Ashwin and get a double, he's good enough for me!" Darren Gough added.
In fact, if the coronavirus pandemic had not taken place, Ravichandran Ashwin would have turned out for Darren Gough’s former county Yorkshire this season in County Championships. Apart from Nottinghamshire, Ravichandran Ashwin has also turned out for Worcestershire in County cricket.
Darren Gough, who picked up 229 wickets in 58 Tests for England, believes Dominic Sibley's ability to play long innings makes him similar to former openers Michael Atherton and Alastair Cook.
The former England speedster believes that Dominic Sibley can ‘bat time’ at the top of the order which gives other players like Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler enough opportunities to accelerate the scoring rate.
Darren Gough also felt that in Rory Burns and Dominic Sibley, England have the perfect pair to handle the new ball. He added that England should stick to the partnership and ‘stop looking’ for problems in the opening pair.