James Bracey cannot wait to face England's best bowlers in the nets
Watch the first Test between England and West Indies live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Wednesday July 8
Last Updated: 24/06/20 12:26pm
Gloucestershire's James Bracey cannot wait to face England seamers James Anderson, Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad in the nets as he aims to test his credentials for international cricket.
The 23-year-old is one of eight uncapped players in the 30-man England training group that has assembled at The Ageas Bowl ahead of the behind-closed-doors #raisethbat Test series against West Indies from July 8.
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England will begin training in Southampton on Thursday, with Archer due to link up with the team provided he tests negative for coronavirus - the quick did not travel on Tuesday after a member of his family felt unwell.
"I want to jump straight in, so if I had the choice I'd want James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer in my first net," Bracey - who helped Gloucestershire earn promotion back to County Championship Division One last season - told the Press Association.
"That would be lobbing yourself in at the deep end - but if you can find a way to play guys like that and face up to them that would give you great confidence and the best possible chance to do well at international level.
"I haven't met all of the England lads before. I played Archer a couple of times for Gloucestershire which was a decent challenge.
"I faced Jimmy when he was coming back to fitness with Lancashire. He was probably only 70 or 80 per cent fit but he was still incredible - the skill he has is quite ridiculous.
"I feel like I've got an opportunity to be around the best Test cricketers in the country for the next couple of weeks and that's something I've not experienced before, so let's see where I'm at."
Bracey has often combined batting at the top of the order with keeping wicket for his county - and says he would relish the opportunity to do the same at Test level.
The left-hander is one of four glovemen in England's training group, along with current Test incumbent Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Ben Foakes.
"I grew up opening the batting and I first broke in as a batsman, so naturally I want to bat at the top. I think the skills I have suit opening or batting at number three," said the Bristolian.
"Doing both jobs is definitely something I'd be up for trying. I've done it for Gloucestershire and, don't get me wrong it is tough, but it does help balance a team nicely.
"I know Test cricket would be another step up in intensity and with the extra day, but it's something I'm open to if the chance materialises."
It was strange to be without work for three months, but luckily the furlough scheme was in place to help a lot people out.
Bracey was placed on furlough by Gloucestershire during the coronavirus pandemic and believes the outbreak has shown that players must have options outside of the game.
"I was a late bloomer, I went to university first, so I feel pretty clued up to the fact this is a career with no great security," he added.
"It's not like football or the big American sports. It lacks some of that certainty and some of that big money.
"I think this has opened a lot of people's eyes to the fact that you need to develop yourself as a person and in other walks of life."
Watch the first Test between England and West Indies live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Wednesday, July 8.