Ben Duckett: Northants batsman says criticism of England displays hurt him

Ben Duckett and Joe Root
Ben Duckett (left) hopes to follow the example of new England captain Joe Root
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Ben Duckett says new England captain Joe Root was among those who helped him through a tough start in Test cricket.

The Northamptonshire batsman admitted criticism on social media had affected him, after he averaged 15.71 in seven innings against Bangladesh and India.

"I actually started to believe some of the stuff I was reading," left-hander Duckett, 22, told BBC Look East.

"It was extremely tough but a lot of the England boys were very helpful to me. I spoke to Root a lot."

Duckett was given his Test debut against Bangladesh in Chittagong in October after scoring 2,706 runs for Northants across all formats in 2016.

Initially opening the batting with then-captain Alastair Cook, Duckett made a half-century in the second Test in Dhaka, which England lost, and that was to be his only score above 15.

He dropped to number four for the first two Tests in India before being discarded for the rest of the series having struggled for runs.

Ben Duckett
Duckett said his poor form was compounded by social media criticism

'I was kicking myself'

Duckett, named one of Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year on Wednesday, revealed that the public scrutiny of his performances had got under his skin but he believes he has learned from the experience.

He said: "I was kicking myself after every bad score, sitting in my hotel room not talking to anyone.

"In India and Bangladesh there's no getting away from it. Your down time is sitting in your hotel room on your phone and it's all over social media.

"Then you start believing it. But no-one has played Test cricket and from game one done amazingly throughout their career - people have gone up and down.

"Root had the same thing. He got dropped and came back into the side and hasn't really looked back.

"You forget they're just normal blokes who have been through what you've been through.

"I'm only 22. It was a bonus for me playing in the winter. Fingers crossed, now I've learned and matured from it and I can take that into the summer."

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