Having already been dismissed once by Peter Nevill on an Ashes tour, Alastair Cook won’t be caught in the dark about Australia’s 33rd Test wicketkeeper.
Brad Haddin has withdrawn himself from the second Test for family reasons, paving the way for Nevill to debut at age 29.
Nevill captained a Cricket Australia XI that suffered a seven-wicket loss to England at the SCG in 2013.
Cook was caught behind for a gritty 81, while Nevill scored 83 in what was England’s final tour game before Australia romped to a 5-0 series win.
“His first-class record is pretty decent, he’s averaging 45 and got a double-hundred,” Cook said.
“So we expect it to be no different in terms of the quality.
“He’s obviously been talked about as being his (Brad Haddin’s) replacement for a couple of years.”
England coach Trevor Bayliss, who mentored Nevill at NSW, is likely to have a few thoughts about how to bowl at the new No.7 batsman.
“We’re going to have to think a little bit on our feet out there because no-one has seen a huge amount of him, but obviously Trevor might have a bit of information on him,” Cook said.
Peter Siddle, a former teammate of Nevill’s at Victoria, is confident Haddin’s understudy is ready to step up.
“He’s played well in the opportunities he’s had. His record back home speaks for itself, he’s had a couple of great years in first-class cricket,” Siddle said.
“He gets his opportunity, I’ve got no doubt he will be ready to go.”
Nevill is coming off his strongest Sheffield Shield season yet for NSW, having won the Steve Waugh medal awarded to the state’s best player.
He scored 764 first-class runs at an average of 76.40, with the highlight being an unbeaten 235 against Tasmania in Hobart.
Nevill also snared 34 Shield dismissals in the past season, convincing selectors he deserves to be Haddin’s long-term successor and that he should tour the West Indies and England.
The reserve gloveman played a tour match against Essex prior to the Ashes opener in Cardiff, declaring he would be ready to go if called upon during the five-Test series.
“I can always learn a lot from Hadds, but this tour I’ve got to prepare to play,” Nevill said in Chelmsford.
“I need to be on top of my game.”
WHO IS PETER NEVILL?
*Struggled for opportunities at Victoria due to incumbent keeper Matthew Wade so he shifted to NSW in 2008
*Has played for NSW as a specialist batsman alongside Brad Haddin
*Has captained NSW and also a Cricket Australia XI in a tour game against England in 2013-14
*Scored 764 Sheffield Shield runs in the 2014-15 season to win the Steve Waugh medal awarded to NSW’s best player
*Developed to the point where he was picked as Australia’s reserve wicketkeeper for the Ashes ahead of Wade.