SOMERSET young guns Kasey Aldridge and James Rew, who returned recently from their trip to India with the England Lions, were back training at the Cooper Associates County Ground earlier this week, writes Richard Walsh.

Wicket-keeper James who turned 20 in January and Kasey who is 23 enjoyed their best seasons to date last summer and were rewarded with selection for the Lions tour to the subcontinent.

James who last year topped 1000 first class runs, which included five centuries said: “Its always good to get back home, and I feel like I have been away quite a lot this winter. I’m enjoying being back in training and catching up with the boys again. Later this week I'm looking forward to catching up with the boys who went out to Sri Lanka as well.

“We will be going to Abu Dhabi as a whole squad quite soon when we will all be back together again for the first time in a while so I’m looking forward to going away again shortly.”

Regarding his Lions tour to India James said: “I enjoyed the trip to India a lot, but it’s a very different experience. India were a really good team and played well in their own conditions and made it hard for us. I feel like I have learned a lot and spoke to some very knowledgeable people and feel like I have got a lot from it.”

What is James hoping for this coming season?

“I don’t want to look too far ahead, I just want to try and start well and almost need to put last season behind me, ignore everything and start from scratch again.”

All rounder Kasey who last season scored over 450 runs at an average of 41 which included an unbeaten 101 as well as claiming 16 wickets in first class cricket said: “I had a great time with the Lions out in India and now its good to be back here with the boys ,and I’m looking forward to Abu Dhabi and then cracking on with the season.

“Last year I felt good with the bat and I’ve been working on all parts of my game and really looking forward to the summer now.”

“India was a tough place to go and play as we found out. However to go out and play in different conditions was a great learning experience for me."

Last summer Kasey also featured in the Somerset team that beat Essex to win the Vitality Blast last July.

“I loved that and it was a great experience. I feel very privileged to have been able to play. It was only my third year on the staff and there are others who have played longer and not had that chance so it was a pleasure to just be out there with the boys and it was great for the fans as well to come up and watch.

“I think that the experience I gained from playing there especially with my bowling and all of the other things that I have done are all going to help me this coming summer and it can’t come soon enough for me.”

Looking ahead to the coming season Kasey said: “As a team we’d love to win the championship and that is the same for everyone but for me personally I want to carry on with what I did batting last year and claim a few more wickets and try to influence games. 

He added: “I think I'm getting to an age now when I have to start performing and putting the other teams under pressure.”