Kasey keen to build on Lancashire performance

Kasey Aldridge impressed with the bat in Somerset’s recent LV= Insurance County Championship draw against Lancashire at the Cooper Associates County Ground.

The 22-year-old, who made his Somerset debut in 2021, hit a career best 58 not out and is keen to build on this innings and be recognised as someone who can perform with both bat and ball.

“I’ve been working hard on my batting over the winter,” he explained. “I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been seen as more of a bowler over the last few years, but I really want to be seen as a genuine allrounder. Putting runs on the board will be key to that. I’ve been batting well in the nets, but it doesn’t matter in there, so I’m really pleased to have got out there and helped the boys.

“I just tried to give myself time. We had plenty of it and we still need to get runs on the board to secure the draw, I knew what needed to be done and I didn’t want to be too defensive. I just tried to play each ball as it came.”

Kasey shared an 87-run partnership with Lewis Gregory during Somerset’s second innings, about which he said: “Lewis is always helpful, and I love batting or bowling with him. He’s always there for me and he’s helped my cricket a lot. He was giving me good advice and telling me not to try and sweep every ball, but I ended up doing that anyway!”

What was it like facing an attack that included England’s Jimmy Anderson?

“They’ve got some top bowlers who bowl with good pace, so if I had to take one or two short ones then that was probably the best option at the time. I think it was a bit of an honour to face Jimmy Anderson with the new ball. He’s probably the worlds best bowler, so to face him was pretty special. Obviously, there were some nerves, but you have to act like there aren’t and concentrate on what you’ve been working on over the winter. It’s tough as a batter to get yourself in against the new ball, but it gets a bit easier as you go along.”

What was the mood in the dressing room like following the draw?

“We come into every game trying to win. We didn’t go into the Lancashire game wanting a draw, but in the end, I think that a draw was a fair reflection of the four days.”

Does Kasey think that his performance will see him keep his place in the side?

“That’s not up to me. I love playing for Somerset whenever I get the chance. We’ve got some top players and performances are key. You need to perform if you’re competing against people like Craig for a place in the team. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’m striving to get better and better.

How did he feel when he reached his half century?

“It was an honour to be able to lift my bat for a 50 in front of my home crowd. It’s the sort of thing that I’ve wanted to do since I was a kid. To be able to repay the faith that’s been shown in me is special.”