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Cricket: Key back in the groove

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posted on Jun, 20 2004 @ 04:40 PM
Robert Key is relishing his vibrant return to the England dressing room, hoping he can establish himself as more than just the squad DJ and become an influential member of both the Test and one-day line-ups.

The Kent batsman, the quickest player in the country to 1,000 first-class runs this summer after scoring six centuries in 13 innings, celebrated his year-long absence from international cricket by claiming the man-of-the-match award in Saturday's six-wicket friendly victory over Wales at Sophia Gardens.

It also proved he has the capabilities to perform at the limited-overs form of the game despite being a more obvious selection for a Test cricket, in which he made the last of his eight appearances last summer against Zimbabwe.

During that run in the Test side, Key earned plaudits for his temperament during a difficult Ashes tour, but scored only one half-century and almost became better known for taking on the responsibility for the music taste inside the dressing room.

He is much more than just a jovial member of the squad, however, and has worked hard at his game since failing in his two one-day international appearances for England last summer which ended with a first-ball duck against South Africa at the Oval.

Key used his winter effectively, playing for a month in Perth as well as analysing his game and trying to determine why he failed to make a bigger mark both at international and domestic level last summer.


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