Ben Foakes admits missing the Ashes was difficult but is happy to focus on Surrey’s success as he recovers from his disappointment
As the last Ashes series drew to a close, interest in the game increased sharply, but Foakes had to remain an observer after being dropped in favor of Jonny Bairstow.
“You feel a bit lost. You get to exactly where you want to be, your career path goes in a certain direction and then it stops and takes a completely different direction,” Foakes told Telegraph Sport.
“The guys that got picked did well too. There’s no sour grapes, it’s just weird headspace. I’ve had a pretty topsy-turvy career, so you’re where you want to be. be, performing, abandoned.”
Being dropped in favor of Bairstow was not a new experience. Foakes made his Test debut in Sri Lanka in 2018-19 and with a century passed he was named man in his first streak.
However, he made way for a returning Bairstow, and history repeated itself this summer as the glovemaker from Surrey, who toured Pakistan and New Zealand in the winter, found himself once again sidelined.
“The first time I was dropped I had been the man in the series, the best I’ve ever played, then I was dropped two games later, but both of those games went badly “, did he declare.
“This time I had done well and I was happy with the way I played. You feel a bit lost. You get to exactly where you want to be, your career path goes a certain way, then it stops and goes in a completely different direction.
“It’s a bit of a sinking feeling, because you don’t really know what to do, because you can’t tell yourself you haven’t done well.”
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Despite the roller coaster, Foakes doesn’t have a bad opinion of the decision-makers in English cricket.
“It’s a selection, people had a decision to make. Regardless of how it turned out, I can understand the decision they made. I’m not furious. I’m gutted. has happened before, and that’s how you handle it.
“In the past it threw me, and maybe this time it threw me the most, because I was fine. It’s about how you center yourself and come out of it okay. rather than letting it wear you down and suck your dedication.
“How can I refocus? There’s no need to play for England. It could be about winning championships for Surrey, playing more T20 cricket.”
Foakes was England’s concussion sub and could also have been called up as a sub-wicket keeper for what was his first Ashes series, had Bairstow been injured.
“Watching was difficult. Last year was the first time I felt like an England player, rather than a County player coming in occasionally and feeling like you were playing your last game at all times.
“It was the first time I felt part of a team, from a support point of view. Without feeling anything to do with it, you feel part of it. You played with them everyone know what they are going through, I want them to do well. Unfortunately they didn’t win but what they did was great for the country.”
In the meantime, Foakes will continue to focus on white-ball cricket and admits he wants to improve his batting.
“If I fully invest in the red ball and you don’t come into the team, you’re a bit left behind,” he says. “So I’ll probably use that time later this year to try and hit him.”
I’m just going to try to find my best cricket and block out everything else and try to win the championship. It’s a big distraction.”
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