Tom Banton was the breakout star of the 2019 domestic season as his flamboyant strokemaking at the top of the Somerset order catapulted him into England’s T20 squad and drew attention from franchises from around the world. A tall, inventive player who has drawn regular comparisons with Kevin Pietersen and Jos Buttler, Banton’s most eye-catching shots are his hockey-inspired reverse-slaps and scoops, though he is equally adept driving straight down the ground and hitting through midwicket.
Banton was part of Warwickshire’s academy before moving south to finish his schooling at King’s College, Taunton, and soon made an impression after switching counties. He captained England’s Under-19 side in the disappointing 2018 World Cup, and showed flashes of his ability in Somerset colours the following summer.
But it was in 2019 that he made his real breakthrough. After making technical adjustments under the mentorship of Marcus Trescothick, he scored 454 runs in Somerset’s victorious One-Day Cup campaign, including scores of 112, 59 and 69 in the three knockouts games, before thrashing 549 more in the Vitality Blast. His televised 52-ball 100 against Kent was the innings of the tournament, and an England call came at the end of the season.
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