Read eyes double impact
Chris Read is hoping to use the ICC Champions Trophy in India to showcase his talents on two fronts.
Though he replaced Geraint Jones as wicket-keeper in the England Test and one-day sides during the summer, and Jones was included in the Ashes touring party, neither was handed a central contract by the ECB.
Competition for places remains fierce, but Read - named in the 14-man Champions Trophy squad at Jones’ expense - is keen to prove he can perform behind the stumps and with the bat.
England begin their Champions Trophy campaign against India on Sunday, and Read is relishing plying his trade in Asia’s unique conditions.
“The sub-continent is one of my favourite places to keep wicket,” said Read, who spent 10 days working on both aspects of his game at the World Cricket Academy in Mumbai last winter.
“It’s a great challenge keeping stood up the spinners and that’s possibly the most enjoyable aspect of keeping when it’s all going well,” he told ECBtv.
“I imagine their one-day pitches are going to be pretty flat, which might mean a bit less carry and a bit less bounce than in England.
“I would imagine that the batsmen would be on top, so you’ve got to grab every opportunity you get.
“I was lucky enough to have a couple of weeks travelling around India last winter, seeing various parts of the country that you don’t get to see when you’re touring.
“So I’ve got a very high appreciation of the country and it would be great to play to competitive cricket.”
Much of the build-up to the Champions Trophy has been overshadowed by talk of the Ashes and the World Cup that follows but, for Read, the present tournament offers the perfect opportunity to cement his place in the side.
“The Champions Trophy is very important in the cricketing calendar and you’ve got to go out there and perform well,” he added.
“If it’s a chance for me to stamp my mark on the position then that’s great, but I think what I do will only refer to the immediate future of one-day cricket.”
Read performed admirably with the bat during the Test and one-day series against Pakistan this summer, and he admits contributing runs lower down the order is crucial to his retaining his place.
“It’s something I aim to do and it’s something I believe I can do,” he said.
“One of my goals playing for Nottinghamshire and England is to win games with the bat.
“That means if you’re batting first taking the score beyond the par score or, if you’re batting second, being there at the end and finishing the job.
“Batting is six or seven is something I’ve done throughout my career, so it’a role I’m very comfortable doing.”