England won't be distracted - Miller
National selector Geoff Miller has no concerns over England’s focus ahead of next month’s return Test series with New Zealand.
Alastair Cook’s men were somewhat surprisingly held to a 0-0 draw by the Black Caps when the two teams did battle in the Antipodes last month.
However, England have repeatedly insisted that was not due to complacency on their part, but rather an unwanted dip in performance combined with the impressive efforts of an improving New Zealand outfit.
The Champions Trophy – in England – and back-to-back Ashes series follow the visit of New Zealand to these shores, but Miller is certain Cook and Co will be fully switched on when the Kiwis arrive.
“(Team director) Andy Flower wouldn’t allow anything less than that, or (limited-overs head coach) Ashley Giles from a one-day point of view,” Miller told ecb.co.uk at Edgbaston.
“They are very strong on discipline and organisation. Preparation has been a vital factor in our success over the last four or five years and that’s not going to change.”
Underlining the importance of the New Zealand series in relation to 2013’s other challenges, Miller added: “We look forward to it all, and we take one at a time.
“The first thing is the New Zealand Tests. From our point of view, and the players will accept this, we underperformed in New Zealand, so we have to rectify that with New Zealand coming over here.
“We have to keep an eye on the Champions Trophy as well. We’ve named the 30, which goes down to 15 in three weeks' time, and then there’s the Ashes.
“So you’ve got to be in control of each aspect of it, keeping control of the further future as well as the present, which we do.”
Miller will naturally be popping up around the shires in the next few weeks, in order to keep an eye on players pushing for international honours.
Nick Compton and Joe Root gained places in England’s winter touring squads following their impressive domestic performances in 2012, and Miller hopes to see others follow suit.
“This is their window; their shop window is county cricket – and if they show they’ve got the potential to be an England player we can then transfer them into the pathway, the performance programme and the Lions,” he explained.
“They join that pathway and hopefully by the end of it they represent the top side, as those two (Compton and Root) have.”