((This August 4 story corrects throughout to make clear quotes are from Farbrace))
By Simon Evans
MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) - England assistant coach Paul Farbrace has backed opening batsman Keaton Jennings to make the grade in international cricket despite his difficulties in the current series against South Africa.
England have struggled to find a regular opening partner for Alastair Cook and had hoped the Durham left-hander could be the answer after his century on debut in India last year.
But Jennings has failed to make a half-century in the current series with some experts questioning his technique.
Farbrace says the 25-year-old has the right attitude to battle through and make the changes he needs.
“Test cricket is a harsh world to come into. The one thing you would expect every player to have (is) guts - determination, the desire to improve and get better,” he said.
“We thought in the second innings at The Oval he showed real application (scoring 48) and he really applied himself and got stuck in. Again today he started showing glimpses of someone who has made adjustments.”
But Farbrace noted that Jennings has not had the time to go away and work on areas of his game that may need improvement.
“There is a lot said about players being found out at international level, he found out a lot about himself in these last few test matches and there are areas of his game that he would want to work on but there hasn’t been time to take a step back and perhaps work at things he would like to work on and enable him to be more successful in test cricket,” he added.
Jennings made 17 on the opening day of the fourth and final test at Old Trafford before an unconvincing stroke edged a simple catch to keeper Quinton de Kock off Duanne Olivier.
Farbrace, though, says the batsman has the right attitude to survive his difficulties.
“The one thing we would judge him on is his character, his personality to cope with the last few weeks. I have to say he is a very honest young man who works extremely hard at his game and given the chance to get through this spell and work at his game, I think he will make a success at international cricket.”
Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Julian Shea and Pritha Sarkar