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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 07:43 GMT 08:43 UK
Warne backs Mustard for England
Phil Mustard
Mustard's aggression got Durham off to a flier at Lord's
Shane Warne has urged England to pick Durham keeper Phil Mustard and likened him to Australia great Adam Gilchrist.

Mustard, 26, hit 49 in the FP Trophy final triumph over Warne's Hampshire and has impressed batting as an opener in limited-overs games this season.

But he was overlooked by England for the one-dayers against India and next month's World Twenty20 in South Africa.

"To me he is just a class act - the best wicket-keeper/batsman in England," Aussie legend Warne insisted.

Mustard blasted his runs off only 38 balls to give Durham a flying start on Saturday as they amassed 312-5 before bowling Hants out for 187 when rain forced the game into Sunday.


Warne, Test cricket's highest wicket-taker, says the Sunderland-born player caught his eye earlier in the season and evokes memories of fellow left-hander Gilchrist with his powerful strokeplay.

"He has the same high grip, hits the ball from backward point to widish mid-off, plays the short ball pretty well and has that effective shot to cow corner," the leg-spinner said in his column for the Times newspaper.

"Gilchrist also had that same will to go for shots."

England have tried Geraint Jones, Chris Read, Paul Nixon in the past year, before opting for Matt Prior at the start of this season.

'Colonel' has a few steps to go before he is ready for international cricket

Durham skipper Dale Benkenstein on Phil Mustard

Prior impressed against West Indies but struggled in the Test series defeat by India.

However, Durham skipper Dale Benkenstein believes it is too soon for comparisons to be drawn with Gilchrist, 35, who has more than 5,000 Test and 9,000 one-day international runs to his name.

"I think 'Colonel' has a few steps to go before he is ready for international cricket - it can also crucify you," former South Africa batsman Benkenstein said.

"I think his time will come. He's got to learn to finish innings. He needs to get hundreds - Gilchrist gets them.

"But he has had a very good season and is showing a lot of good signs. He has worked hard and has moved forward quicker than other young players."

Durham clinch Lord's trophy glory
19 Aug 07 |  Counties
Benkenstein savours historic win
19 Aug 07 |  Counties
Warne stands by decision to field
19 Aug 07 |  Counties


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