Mascarenhas aims for England
Dimitri Mascarenhas wants to consolidate his position in England’s one-day side after featuring little over the winter.
The all-rounder will have the added burden of trying to take over from former Australia legend Shane Warne as Hampshire skipper after the leg-spinner decided not to return for the second-year of his contract.
Mascarenhas announced himself on the international stage by hitting India’s Yuvraj Singh for five sixes in a row during the sixth match of the NatWest Series last summer, but he is not a permanent fixture in the side.
He told ECBtv: “I had to work hard and wait for my chance, which can only be good with competition for places, and that is one of my main aims - to cement my place in the starting XI, not just the squad.
“I was thrilled to get picked and even more thrilled to perform. I feel I am good enough to perform with both bat and ball at that level - that is a big pleasing point for me.
“The sixes thing is just weird. I have not even done any of this for Hampshire.
"People have been very supportive but I have trained hard and worked hard to be able to perform well down the order for England as well as Hampshire.
“Everything just happened so fast. It was great getting picked for England and then hitting the sixes and of course winning the series (against India) was great."
The Hampshire man is ideally suited to the Twenty20 format with his aggressive hitting and economical bowling, and he helped England to victory over New Zealand in February with 31 off 14 balls and 2-19 in a 32-run victory.
Mascarenhas continued: “Even though I did not play in Sri Lanka, (England won 3-2) I learnt from just being out in the conditions but I came back and played in New Zealand, although I only batted once and bowled just a little.
“It was different because I have been a pretty permanent fixture in the Hampshire set-up in the last 10 years so to sit on the sidelines was different and you had to learn to cope with that.”