Graceful yet assertive, Tom progressed to the Essex first team squad from the Academy in 2006. He was still a student at Durham University when he recorded his maiden first-class century, scoring 132 at Derby in 2009. Three years later, he scored a career-best 185 against Glamorgan.
It was 2014 that Tom truly made the jump from promising to pivotal: he recorded centuries in each format, including T20 tons against Kent and Sussex and passed 1,000 runs in a season for the first time. He was named Essex Player of the Year, Player’s Player of the Year and Batsman on the Year.
His form continued and, in 2016, a career-best 254 in the race for Division Two honours was part of 1,217 runs, seventh highest overall. Tom was rewarded for his performances with a call-up to England Lions and duly scored a ton against South Africa. In the next season he would add 561 runs to Essex’s first County Championship title in 25 years and earn an England Test call-up, scoring a half century on debut at South Africa at The Oval.
In 2019, Tom against helped Essex to County Championship success (including a dogged 141 v Warwickshire) and Vitality Blast trophies. In January 2020, he was appointed Essex Club Captain leading Essex to an inaugural Bob Willis Trophy win.
Follow Tom on Twitter at @westley21