Tom Banton has “huge” potential and England must keep on picking him, says Sky Sports’ Nasser Hussain.
Dawid Malan (103no from 51 balls) smashed England’s fastest T20I ton, from 48 balls, while skipper Eoin Morgan (91 off 41) hit their quickest fifty, from 21 deliveries, as the tourists racked up a national-record 241-3 against New Zealand en route to taking the five-match series to a decider.
Live stream the New Zealand v England T20 & Test Series with KAYO SPORTS on your TV or favourite device. Get your 14-day free trial >
However, Somerset opener Banton (31 off 20) fired an impressive cameo up top in just his second game, including a huge six over deep mid-wicket that led to David Lloyd comparing the 20-year-old to Kevin Pietersen.
“You always pick on selection as an investment and the investment in that lead is just huge,” said former England captain Hussain.
“The returns in Banton are huge, so you keep on picking him. He has got so many shots, so many options, he almost has two shots for every ball.
“He has the big shots – so when does he go for the scoop, which got him out the other day, and the reverse sweep, which got him out in this game?
“The handling of him will be absolutely crucial but I think Morgan will always allow him to take the more attacking option.
“The way Morgan is around the team and around practice is as if England didn’t [win the World Cup] last summer — he still has that energy.
“That will filter through the team so I think it is vital that Morgan continues to drive this team forward.”
England retained the inexperienced Banton and leg-spinner Matt Parkinson in their XI for the fourth T20I at Napier — despite the fact they needed to win the game to keep the five-match series alive.
Parkinson also starred in his second England outing, bagging four wickets after taking 1-14 from two overs on debut in Nelson.
“I would like to applaud England,” added Hussain. “It would have been easy for England to go with James Vince and Adil Rashid in a must-win game.
“Banton and Parkinson have got so much out of this game. Banton got 30-odd but it was the way that he got them, while Parkinson got four-for.
“If Parkinson hadn’t have played he might have felt like someone who was given two overs in the previous game.
“But now he will leave — even if he doesn’t play again, which I don’t think will happen — feeling like an international cricketer, who has performed on the big stage.”
This article originally appeared on Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission.