Published: 08:00, 13 June 2014
Jimmy Adams has welcomed the attention lavished on young off-spinner Adam Riley, saying it’s a good thing that experts are touting him for an England call-up.
The 22-year-old right-armer has stolen the show this season, producing career-best performances in the Spitfires’ fledgling NatWest T20 Blast campaign and forcing his way into the Championship side at the expense of England ace James Tredwell.
With 28 First Class wickets at an average of 26 in just 11 innings this season and combined figures of 7-70 in the last three T20 games, the clamour for international recognition for Riley has gathered pace, with Sky TV pundits David Lloyd and Bob Willis and several national newspaper writers linking him with a future in Peter Moores’ England set-up.
Kent coach Adams did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm, saying the attention would be good for Riley’s development.
He said: “If you’re good enough and you’re performing in any format of the game, especially if you’re any kind of specialist, then it’s going to happen. You’re going to generate interest in yourself because you’re playing well.
“Credit to the kid, good on him, he’s playing well and generating interest in himself. Let him learn how to cope with it. I’d rather he learned now than when he’s 28."
Adams added: “He’ll be on a learning curve as a slow bowler for the next 10 years but this is part of the learning curve. Learn to deal with the pressure of people focusing on you because you’re doing well. They’re going to keep mentioning you in regards to other teams - that’s a good thing.
“I’d love to have more young players being spoken about like that. Let all of them learn how to handle the pressure at this age.”
For his part, Riley remained modest, though he admitted: “It’s nice to be spoken about in this respect.”
He added: “I don’t read into it too much. All I am doing is trying to stay in the Kent side at the moment. I’ve only played a handful of games. It’s nice to have made a good start but you don’t get there on good starts. You’ve got to try and sustain that performance level over a long period of time.”
He added: “It’s nice to be spoken about in that kind of bracket but I’ll not get too carried away with what’s going on out there.”
England spinner James Tredwell joined Riley in the Kent T20 lineup after the end of his ODI commitments against Sri Lanka and Riley revealed: “Treddy is a massive asset to me, he’s got so much knowledge. I’d be foolish if I didn’t try to tap into that.
“With the knowledge that he’s got, with (coach) Min Patel as well, I have two guys I can really lean on for advice and my development going forward.”
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