PEARS pace ace Josh Tongue has admitted he is looking forward to learning from England Test stars Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad ahead of the Ashes in Australia.
The teenager jetted off down under together with Joe Clarke in the England Lions squad on Tuesday for a three-day match and three T20 game before Christmas.
As well as attempting to earn a place on the Lions tour of the West Indies in the new year, Tongue will have the chance of bowling to England’s Test stars in the nets ahead of England’s first three Test matches against the old enemy.
The youngster, who turned 20 on Wednesday, admitted it would be ‘surreal’ to meet one of his cricketing inspirations in England’s record wicket-taker Anderson and is eager to pick his brains
“It’s good to take in new ideas from different people. I’ve learnt a lot off Mase (Matt Mason) and the Lions people have different experiences and it’s good to take those things on board as well and nail down the things I want to work on,” said Tongue.
“It is all part of a big learning curve for me. You’ve got people like Mark Wood in the squad and all the experience he’s had of playing international cricket and going to Australia is going to be a massive thing for me as well.”
“I’ve been a big fan of Jimmy Anderson and watching him since I was about 10 and now he is the top wicket-taker for England which is a fantastic achievement.
“I’ve been watching him for the last nine years and it is going to be surreal meeting him and seeing how he goes about things.
“If I can talk to them, and hopefully take it into my game and become a better cricketer myself, that will help to bring success for Worcestershire next year.”
Tongue is welcoming the chance to return to playing action during the close season.
“Normally in the winter I would be doing fitness work so to be back playing games, I’m looking forward to it and getting back into it really,” he said.
“I didn’t really want the county season to end with the good run I had and not being injured all summer. I just wanted to keep on playing.”