Jennings: I’m aiming to get some runs to repay the selectors’ faith

England batsman Keaton Jennings wants to build on the 45 he hit against Sri Lanka Board XI on Friday and score the runs selectors backed him to make in the three-Test series.

The Lancashire opener had faced staunch criticism after yielding an average of 19.2 in Tests during the summer, but England selectors stuck with the left-hander for the first stop of their winter schedule.

Jennings’ 45 included seven boundaries before retiring to allow Joe Denly and Ollie Pope to taste conditions down the order.

Appearing destined to open the bat alongside Surrey captain Rory Burns for the first Test in Galle next Tuesday, Jennings admitted faith was needing to be paid.

“The selectors have stuck with me and I am hugely honoured. I like to think I am a decent bloke and I want to repay that faith,” Jennings told Sky Sports.

“You can practise all you want but Tuesday is judgement day. You can play 65 warm-up games but if you arrive [at the Test] and are not prepared within yourself, that’s how you are going to be judged.

“I don’t think your place is ever not under discussion. That’s the brutal world of Test cricket but it’s a huge privilege,” Jennings added.

“The series against India this year was tough at times with the ball moving around. At times you sort of close your eyes and repeat to yourself that you’re going to get through it.

“You do try and talk yourself into a bit of confidence, I suppose you come out the other side and you see the light.”

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