Phil Salt believes he has a key ally in New England head coach Matthew Motta after the first International 100.
The pyrotechnics of Jos Battler and Liam Livingston that led England to a world record 498 for four in the first one-day international against the Netherlands on Friday will be remembered for a long time, but it was Salt who laid the foundations for a huge number at Amstelveen.
He could have gone into his shell after Jason Roy was fired early, but instead opted to face the minnows with a series of compelling drives and a couple of self-confident shots for six.
In just his fourth ODI, given the chance by Johnny Bairstow’s unavailability due to his testing obligations, the end result was a brilliant 122-of-93 partnership with David Malan from 222 runs, which changed the complexion of the England streak opener. won by 232 points.
Having been with the England team for the past three years, Salt is well aware of Eoin Morgan’s attacking philosophy and suspects that Mott is singing from the same hymn sheet.
“He definitely likes the way I play,” Salt said of the Australian coach. “I don’t think there is anything too different from the kind of cricket we’re going to play.
“It’s pretty obvious what you need to do if you want to play for England. If you want to play as Morg, you have to play in a certain way, and he understands that very clearly.
“It’s as simple as knowing that when I get the opportunity, I have to perform and I have to do well. That’s how it will work if you want to have a long career in England.”
Every time you wear the England jersey it’s an honor and I want to keep doing it. If I can keep doing stuff like this and keep putting my name in the hat, hopefully I’ll give the selectors a headache.Phil Salt
Salt admits one encouraging inning won’t be enough to shift the Roy-Bairstow axis when both are available, an opening partnership that averages 57.67 with a staggering 13,100+ stands in 49 innings and was instrumental in England’s World Cup victory 2019.
But while he will keep his place in Sunday’s second leg and Wednesday’s final, both in Amstelveen, he’s ready to hit anywhere in the top order if that means he’ll keep his place.
He said: “That’s what almost overwhelmed me in the previous years when I got into the England team: the level of skill, the intensity. I’m much closer to that now than I was a couple of years ago.
“Every time you wear the England jersey it’s an honor and I want to keep doing it. If I can keep doing stuff like this and keep putting my name in the hat, hopefully I’ll give the selectors a headache.
“You can’t hit everywhere, can you? I would like to get as many games for England as possible. It doesn’t matter to me where. I will always do my best to perform, raise my hand and win games for the team.”
Salt, whose only previous ODI experience came last summer when he played all three matches for the shadow side that beat Pakistan, admitted his only hesitation on Friday came as he approached his age.
He added: “It was a little weird. When I was about 80, I looked at the scoreboard and thought about it, and you can’t do that as a batter.
“So, in my head, I sort of shifted that number and thought that 100 didn’t really matter, 150 would matter – and everything else.
“It’s a great feeling to contribute to such an incredible performance. I am very proud of this and it is especially important for me to get my first hundred for England. I hope I can keep doing that in this series.”
England expect Livingston to be available for a second ODI after being seen on Saturday. The versatile player felt some tension in his calf after an explosive 66 out of 22 balls, which meant he was out of bounds for the Netherlands’ response.