Full name Scott George Borthwick
Born April 19, 1990, Sunderland, Co Durham
Major teams England, Durham, Durham 2nd XI, England Lions, England Under-19s
Playing role Bowler
Batting style Left-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak
Scott Borthwick is that rarest of commodities - an English legspinner. There is a romance to the art which is liable to leave England selectors swooning so appropriately enough there was an unreal element to Borthwick's Test debut against Australia in the final Test at Sydney as they lurched towards a 5-0 defeat in the 2013/14 Ashes series.
Borthwick's addition to England's squad came shortly before Christmas when Graeme Swann, troubled by an elbow complaint, abruptly announced his international requirement, looked around at a lack of obvious pretenders to his crown and pronounced that it was time for the likes of Borthwick to take their chance.
Borthwick had shown at Durham that he does not lack bottle, but It was quite an ask for a player who had envisaged a spell in Sydney grade cricket before an England Lions tour of Sri Lanka. He had finished as low as 15th in Durham's Championship averages in 2013, taking only 28 wickets alongside his 1,000 runs, his most impressive strides coming as a batman as Durham shrewdly gave him at opportunity at No. 3.
"I still think I'm a legspinner who bats," he nevertheless asserted. He was preferred to Monty Panesar, used protectively by his captain, Alastair Cook, and four wickets in the match, the best of them to dismiss Chris Rogers on 119, represented an uplifting match return of 4 for 82 in only 13 overs.
What followed was a development in his all-round game but a disappointment, nevertheless, for lovers of legspin. Borthwick achieved a rare thing for a Durham player where runs are an expensive commodity - making more than 1,000 in the Division One of the Championship in 2014 and again in a hugely consistent 2015 when only Somerset's James Hildreth made more runs in the top flight - but he took only 28 wickets at expensive cost, cause for England to lose interest. Nevertheless, he resisted suggestions that he should leave the most northerly county to pursue his bowling career in more encouraging circumstances and reitterated his pride in the region.
A product of the local league system in Durham, Borthwick was thrown rudely into the limelight when, live on TV, he was carted for five successive sixes by Essex's James Foster to lose a Pro40 game at the back end of the 2009 season. But, surrounded by a battery of paceman at Durham, he enjoyed a good outing with the pink ball against MCC taking eight wickets in the game to set up his 2010 season.
While he was in and out of Durham's first XI, his opportunities that year came mostly in first-class cricket and in 10 Championship games he acquitted himself reasonably well. Looking to further his development, he spent the winter down under in Adelaide, working particularly hard on his fitness and making the most of opportunities to learn from the likes of Shane Warne and Mushtaq Ahmed, who he brushed shoulders with when the Ashes were in town.
The work stood him in good stead for the 2011 season, where he claimed 35 wickets and a call up for England's one-day international with Ireland. He gained further recognition in a T20 against West Indies in August and on tour to India in October 2011.