Borthwick says he is not feeling under pressure

The Northern Echo: NO PRESSURE: Scott Borthwick NO PRESSURE: Scott Borthwick

Scott Borthwick is refusing to worry about the added expectation that comes with being a fully fledged England international.

The Durham leg-spinner made his one-day and Twenty20 debuts for his country against Ireland and the West Indies towards the back end of last summer before playing another one-dayer against India in Mumbai in October.

He has clocked up the airmiles this winter having also been on duty with the England Lions as his development continues at a rate of knots.

But, ahead of the forthcoming English domestic campaign, the 21 year-old from Sunderland has admitted that he does not feel any added pressure to perform for his county.

"I don't really look at it like that," said Borthwick. "All I need to do is keep practising and doing my best to try and win games for Durham. I want to take wickets and score runs. I try not to look at it as a pressure thing.

"My aim this season is just to work hard, keep learning and try to improve again."

Borthwick's winter has had a distinctly sub-continental flavour to it, while he has rarely picked up a red ball.

"I've been to India twice, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Dubai twice. It's been a long winter, but I've enjoyed it," he continued.

"It's pretty much all been one-day cricket based, so I definitely feel I've improved in that area. There were things I wanted to improve, my economy rate was something I'd targeted.

"Just by playing one-day cricket, you get different experiences and are able to learn from them.

"Being around the England side has been brilliant. I've worked a lot with Mushtaq Ahmed, who is brilliant. I first met him two or three years ago, but every time I get the chance to work with him, I jump at it. He's a fantastic coach and talks a lot of sense.

"He's so positive. If you bowl a bad ball, he'll still find something positive out of it, which is great for your confidence. I try to keep in touch with him as much as I can when I'm not with England on tour, and it's the same with Peter Such, the other England spin bowling coach."

Despite having concentrated on one-day cricket throughout the winter, Borthwick's attentions must now switch to the longer form of the game as Durham play eight county matches before mid-June.

He added: "Four-day cricket is still the number one for me. I prefer playing with the red ball and bowling 20 overs per day rather than trying to stop someone hitting you for six sixes in an over.

"Twenty20 is enjoyable, don't get me wrong. But four-day cricket is where your skills are really tested.

"We were a little bit unlucky last year in the Championship, maybe we should have won it. We lost a few games towards the end of the season. It would be nice to win that, but obviously the Twenty20 is a big one now with all the fundings that come with it.

"Any silverware would be good this season. Looking at it, though, the Championship is the main aim for us."

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