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County performances still essential - Miller

National selector Geoff Miller has assured county cricketers around the country their exploits are being taken into account when England sides are selected. Miller has overseen a period of success as head of the panel over recent years with a pathway that feeds into the senior side becoming prominent. Joe Root, pictured below,  is a prime example of the system’s importance having previously represented England Lions and been part of the Performance Programme before shining since making his international debut this winter.. Equally, though, there are success stories from the more conventional route of the domestic circuit, such as Jonathan Trott – who has not looked back since his debut ton against Australia in the Ashes four years ago.  Miller understandably talks up the now well-established system, but insists the door is not closed on others. “We are watching county cricket all of the time and it is a constant job,” he told ecb.co.uk. “We have got that pathway to put players into but, as the season progresses, I am sure different names will start coming into the hat.” Speaking about the “pathway” itself, he added: “We created it a few years ago as opposed to guessing how players will perform from county form. “We put them on the pathway with the Lions programme and learn about them as players and characters. “That is the ideal situation; that’s what we have created and it is working.” The fact it is working was in evidence at Lord’s in the first Investec Test against New Zealand, which England won by 170 runs on the back of a superb second-innings bowling display. That effort was all the more satisfying given the reverse series was drawn 0-0 in New Zealand, a disappointing result after Alastair Cook’s side had recorded an historic victory over India away from home. Reflecting on previous performances in a year that includes an Ashes series and Champions Trophy on home soil, Miller said: “We were very good in the one-dayers and Twenty20s in New Zealand and not quite so good in the Test matches. “It keeps your feet on the ground. It was tough at Lord's but the character came through and once again we showed what we are capable of doing. “It is a long, hard and difficult summer but it is a good start.”