England's opening batter Zak Crawley reflected on his summer of international cricket in Tests and admitted that it's the worst he's had. The right-handed batter feels he learned plenty from skipper Ben Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum.
Crawley entered the home summer with plenty of expectations after showing promise in Australia and the West Indies.
However, the Kent batter registered seven single-figure scores in 13 Test innings with only one fifty, which came against the Proteas at The Oval.
On the back of a torrid summer, the youngster said he was glad to have ended up on the other side. He feels optimistic ahead of the winter after an unbeaten half-century in his final Test innings of the summer.
The 24-year-old said, as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo:
"It's been a tough year - probably my worst summer I've ever had. I'm pleased with myself that I could bounce back. I always thought I would, so it's fine - it just took longer than I thought. It's nice to find some rhythm and take a bit of confidence into the winter. Hopefully, all being well, I get picked in those squads."
After a successful summer, England will hope to replicate their success in the winter. Stokes and Co. will visit Pakistan for three Tests and New Zealand for two Tests in December and February, respectively.
"I was getting more and more negative, in my shell" - Zak Crawley
Crawley opened up on his struggles, stating that the negativity affected his shot-making and admittedly got his preparations wrong. He explained:
"I've learned an awful lot - mainly what not to do. When I was out of nick, I was putting restrictions on where I could score. I was getting more and more negative, in my shell. It might not have come across like that in some of the shots I was playing.
"But I find when I'm negative, I don't move my feet very well, I'm not moving my body, so it comes across as loose shots. When I'm moving well, I'm getting in good positions and hitting those balls for four."
The youngster rued about not imbibing Stokes and McCullum's message from the start, adding:
"I've learned a lot from this year about the way they play the game, the positive mindset and backing yourself. They are two champions of that, aren't they? It finally clicked towards the end of the summer, the messaging they were trying to give. I couldn't fully… I felt under pressure for my place so it's hard fully to buy into that. I wish I had bought into it from the start now."
Crawley scored an enterprising 79 in the ongoing County Championship game against Warwickshire, putting on 176 with Tawanda Muyeye for the opening wicket.