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Tipped as new KP, following Buttler's path - Tom Banton ready to make a name for himself

Tom Banton goes down on one knee Getty Images

In the space of a few weeks, Tom Banton has leapt from Somerset's best-kept secret to one of the most talked-about young batsmen in the world. That is what happens when Michael Vaughan tells his 1.09m Twitter followers that you remind him of Kevin Pietersen.

Banton has even had an injury scare ahead of the Royal London Cup final which has reminded everybody what hot property he is at the moment - a mild back spasm while having a pre-final "net" for Somerset 2nd XI at Taunton Vale this week - but barring an unexpected relapse he will play against Hampshire at Lord's on Saturday in the last meaningful county 50-over final.

Somerset last won a List A final in 2001, so long ago that everybody played in white. They have lost three times since, the last of them against Surrey in 2011 despite a Coming of Age innings of 86 from Jos Buttler a week after he had turned 21.

Banton, a year younger at 20, is not the age or the type to become nostalgic, but he has left his impression on the tournament in a manner that Buttler could only admire with a hundred in the group stages against Kent, another in the play-off against Worcestershire on a "tricky" pitch that had been covered for several days and 59 in the semi-final when Somerset dispensed with Nottinghamshire with unexpected ease.

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He described many things as "tricky" as he relaxed under the awning of Somerset's Stragglers Bar in Taunton this week, but watching him bat in the past few weeks, everything has appeared remarkably easy. No young batsman in the country reverse-sweeps with such authority and his straight driving is languid and elegant.

He was a former boarder at Kings College, Taunton, and a cricket master with a keen sense of destiny, Phil Lewis, gave him the same rooms as Buttler as he passed through the sixth form. He is not the sort to over-react, but even if he didn't realise at the time it was good psychology.

"To get the same rooms as Buttler was pretty cool," he said. "The first year a tree was outside my room so I couldn't see much. The second year I moved up to the top floor which had a better view looking out on to the first team cricket pitch. Which was nice."

His time in the Warwickshire academy was a story of unfulfilled potential, but boarding school in Taunton seemed to do the job. He struck a hundred for Kings against the Somerset academy and a switch of counties was swiftly agreed, sparing him a five-hour round trip to Edgbaston. England U-19 honours and a Somerset contract followed. He keeps wicket, too, but he is a tall man and a talented batsman and one imagines it will become a bit of an optional extra.

So the Buttler-Banton chain has been set in motion, a chain that will one day surely also include England and the IPL.

Buttler, naturally, gets a mention in the players he must wishes to emulate, as does AB de Villiers (a gesture perhaps to the family's South African roots: Tom's father, Colin, who played a handful of matches for Nottinghamshire, was born in Cape Province), but the player he most picked out as someone he "really looks up to" was Alex Hales.

It was certainly a free-spirited choice ahead of a World Cup tournament where Hales has been scrubbed out by England after a series of off-field incidents, and it was not entirely clear whether it came more from the refreshing artlessness of youth or an in-built rebellious streak.

"He's made for the big occasion. He loves the moment, the big noise, the opportunity to entertain. He's that kind of character" Marcus Trescothick on Banton

He exchanged a few words with Hales during that semi-final at Trent Bridge. "He's pretty similar to me top of the order, we're both pretty tall and he hits it quite hard. It was quite cool playing against him a few weeks ago, seeing how he went about it. I was keeping so I got to see him, close up. I asked him how things were with him and he said he was just getting on with it. Luckily we got him out or it could have been game over pretty quick."

Nottinghamshire, predictably, took the chance to raise Vaughan's KP comparison when he went in to bat. "A few of them brought it up which was quite funny. You just have to laugh about it."

As Eoin Morgan, England's limited-overs captain, said about Buttler earlier this month, Banton also "has a gear not may others have". When he took down the Nottinghamshire offspinner, Matt Carter, with 24 off an over - utterly dismissive in only the 10th of the innings - it changed the mood of the semi-final.

He has chatted at length to Marcus Trescothick, who acts as Somerset's batting coach in the limited-overs formats, about pacing his innings and, even allowing for his free-flowing style, there has been a design about his recent knocks that augers well.

Trescothick has spoken highly of him in the build-up to the final. "Tom has a massive amount of talent. He's a vital player and everyone has been talking about him because of how explosive he can be.

"He's almost that new-age type of player: someone who has come through the ranks while growing up watching T20 cricket, so they're all practising these shots from an early age. Some of the shots that Banton would play, I'm thinking: 'You have no right to be able to do that.' It's outrageous what they can do.

"He's made for the big occasion. He loves the moment, the big noise, the opportunity to entertain. He's that kind of character, who wants to enjoy himself and almost show off the skills that he has."

Life rushes on. Four years ago, Andrew Strauss, then the ECB's director of cricket, put one-day internationals on a par with Tests and the result has been an England squad with the credentials to challenge for the World Cup.

But next summer, the county 50-over competition - the feeder for that England side - will be diminished by running as an undercard to The Hundred, becoming a competition for professionals who don't get chosen in the draft and an army of junior pros to make up the numbers.

If Somerset take the trophy, Banton will be happiest of all for Peter Trego, an allrounder embedded in Somerset folklore, who was a great influence in Somerset's 2nd XI last summer. "He's a club legend… the changing room clown in a way," Banton said. "He's been in endless semi-finals and finals and has always come second."

As for himself, if he makes runs, he will quietly touch a small tattoo on his inner arm in tribute to his late grandfather who took such an interest in his early cricketing career.

But he says he is not about to make too much of the biggest cricketing day of his life, and you believe him. "I don't over think it. I just turn up," he said. "If it's your day it's your day."