Dawson hopes to seek out Warne's advice
Liam Dawson hopes to be able to pick the brains of Shane Warne during the Test series against South Africa but believes he remains primarily a batsman with his bowling a valuable second string.
Dawson, who made his Test debut against India in Chennai, was a surprise inclusion in Joe Root's first Test squad as captain. He had a mixed experience at Lord's, bagging a pair but also picking up four wickets including the key scalp of Hashim Amla with a beautiful delivery in the second innings.
The view of his own game, that the batting still holds sway - he has opened in the County Championship for Hampshire this season and made 66 on his Test debut - seems to go against the role he was given in the first Test where he was billed as the team's main spinner. Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, said the reasoning behind that had been to take the pressure off Moeen Ali who responded with his first 10-wicket haul in Tests.
Dawson said that he and Moeen were "equal" in terms of their bowling but that he was keen to evolve his left-arm spin by seeking out Warne who was the Hampshire captain when Dawson made his first-class debut against Yorkshire in 2007.
"I will try and catch up with him over the course of this series and have a chat with him about bowling. That would be brilliant to do," Dawson said. "Someone who is that good, been that successful and a legend of the game, you can only pick their brains. You might pick up something that might give you a little edge when you are out there and that can only be a positive.
"I am an allrounder but batting is my strongest suit," he added. "I can do a good job with the ball. Having two strings to your bow is always helpful."
Dawson admitted he had to battle nerves at Lord's and was disappointed with his first-innings performance with the ball where although he claimed two wickets he conceded more than four an over. However, despite missing a big full toss from Kagiso Rabada to complete his pair on the fourth morning, making it three Test ducks in a row, he felt far more assured when he was brought on in the second innings and had the joy of straightening one on Amla to trap him lbw.
"I usually deal with nerves pretty well, but this time I was just too nervous and I have got to handle that better next time and I think I will be better for it," he said. "It is just part of sport and you have just got to try and deal with it and I did in the second innings. I was more relaxed second innings because I was out there again and enjoying every minute of it."
Dawson has been well-regarded by the England management since taking three wickets on his T20I debut against Sri Lanka at the Ageas Bowl last season. Bayliss has previously said "he has something about him" and Dawson prides himself on being a "smart" cricketer.
"People probably watch me and think 'you know he is not the best cricketer' but I have got to use my cricket brain. That has always helped me for Hampshire. That is another thing I pride myself on, being smart and clever. I think I am always trying to get into a battle and enjoy it. It is nice when that happens. Test cricket is suited to that. It is hard. I have only played two Test matches and it is extremely hard but it is so rewarding when you get a win like we did."
The indications after the victory at Lord's were that England would retain the same XI at Trent Bridge with Bayliss' view that a fifth quick bowler in the side would be overkill regardless of how green the surface was. Toby Roland-Jones, the uncapped Middlesex seamer, is the 12th member of the unchanged squad.
Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo