Denly's chance to feel Ashes high
Joe Denly expects Australia to come hard out of the blocks in the NatWest Twenty20 and one-day international series - but first there is the matter of a potential England debut against Ireland to contend with.
The absence of England captain Andrew Strauss from Thursday's match in Belfast means the Kent opening batsman could be selected at the top of the order for the Ashes winners, and it is a call-up the 23-year-old is just coming to terms with.
“I’m very excited now as there’s not long to wait,” Denly said. “It took a while to sink in after getting the call, but I’m raring to go now and cannot wait for things to start.
“It will be brilliant for me. I’m going to be playing with quite a few of the guys that have just won the Ashes so I cannot wait to link-up with them all.
"They will obviously be on a high so hopefully we can take it on and keep things going in the upcoming one-day matches.
“I haven’t heard if I will play. Obviously I would love to be involved and I’m hopeful that I will get a go but I will just have to wait and see.
“Andrew Strauss isn’t there so there might be an opening at the top of the innings, but I will just have to work hard, go well in practice and hope that I get a go.
“It will be an invaluable experience for me, playing with the best players in the country. I’m sure I will learn a lot and it will help me improve and further develop my game.”
England know only too well to beware the wounded Australian tiger, and Ricky Ponting’s men have plenty of time to exact a form of revenge in two Twenty20 internationals and seven 50-over games.
Denly could have an extended crack at international cricket over the next two months, having also been named in England’s squad for the Australia matches and the forthcoming ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.
“I think Australia will come at us really hard,” Denly told Kent's official website. “After losing the Ashes, they will be fully fired up.
“The Aussies are great fighters and they won’t want to lose both the Ashes and the one-day series. They will want to beat us in the limited-overs games and end their tour on a bit of a high.”
If Denly features, he will become the first Kent player to represent England since Amjad Khan, who made his debut on England’s recent tour of the Caribbean, and Denly is proud at the Kent development programme that has got him this far.
“I’m delighted to get a go with England and my call-up is a great reward for everyone that has helped me along the way at Kent.
“We have a great junior set-up and the Kent Cricket Board system, that Jamie Clifford runs, has helped so many players over the years.
“I started with Kent at the age of 11 and have worked my way up. I feel proud to earn this recognition.”