Keaton Jennings says England Test failures made him 'better player'

Keaton Jennings
Keaton Jennings made only four on his return to action for Durham Jets in the T20 Blast on Friday

England opener Keaton Jennings believes he is a "better player" following a disappointing series against South Africa which cost him his Test place.

He made only 127 runs in eight innings, at an average of 15.87 and with a best score of 48, as England won 3-1.

His poor form led to the selectors calling up Mark Stoneman to replace him for the first Test against West Indies.

"It was a really good learning experience for me," 25-year-old Jennings told BBC Newcastle.external-link

"It was a tough series, you've got three of the top 12 or 13 bowlers in the world on some pretty tough surfaces.

"I've moved away, I think, a more knowledgeable and better player and I'll definitely be in the nets grafting on my game to try to move myself forward."

Jennings made a promising start to his Test career with a debut century against India in Mumbai in December 2016.

But his technique came under scrutiny during the South Africa series and ex-Proteas captain Graeme Smith said: "If I was a selector I'd be thinking it was time to make a change with the West Indies and then the Ashes coming up."

Left-hander Jennings now faces the task of trying to re-establish himself before the winter tour to Australia, while former Durham team-mate Stoneman, who joined Surrey at the start of the summer, tries to take his opportunity as Alastair Cook's opening partner.

"Mark is a fantastic cricketer so all the best to him and I really hope he does well," said Jennings. "It's an amazing environment to be involved in. He's taught me loads and hopefully he'll really get stuck in.

"Score runs - that's the currency we deal in and that's what I have to do. Durham have got four first-class games remaining and I've got to adjust certain things in myself and score runs. That's a simple fact."

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