Hampshire skipper Dimitri Mascarenhas has told England's selectors they can rely on young spinner Danny Briggs to play a vital part of their World Twenty20 title defence next month.
Briggs was the leading wicket-taker in the Friends Life t20 last year before a mature performance in the 10-run win over Yorkshire helped Hampshire claim their second title in three years.
"He's well ahead of his time in his head. He's a 40-year-old playing in a 21-year-old's body," Mascarenhas said. "He's extremely good, he knows batters, he knows how to bowl to different batters."
The 21-year-old, who was selected for the World Twenty20 despite still being uncapped in the format, proved his guile before his years as he first strangled the Yorkshire batsmen in the middle overs before then halting a rampant David Miller when the game was on the line.
Miller had looked destined to steal victory away, as he three times thumped the Hampshire attack into the nearby river Taff during a stunning 48-ball 72, before Briggs applied the brakes in the penultimate over which cost just seven.
That left Yorkshire with too much to do in the final over and former England all-rounder Mascarenhas added: "He came to me in that last over and said he was going to go into the wicket. I said: 'What no into the wicket, surely bowl yorkers?
"He said: 'No I'm going to bowl into the wicket'. So I said 'alright' - he did it his way. He knows more about spin than me."
Briggs has made just one England appearance since he was first called up last summer and while he has not enjoyed the prolific return of last year's Twenty20, Mascarenhas is certain he is a better player now.
"He's really improved. I know his stats this year don't tell a very good tale but it's Twenty20," he said. "On those wickets in Sri Lanka which will suit the turners and he's not a big turner, so all he needs to do is turn it a little bit and with his variations of pace and the way he gets his yorkers in I think he'll be a huge asset."
"Whether they (the selectors) pick him straight away I'm not sure. I hope he gets an opportunity because I think he'll do very well."
- Dimitri Mascarenhas
- Danny Briggs