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New clothes and a Test spot on my shopping list

Posted in England team blog

It was a bit of a shock when Ashley Giles took me to one side and said I was in all three squads for the tour of New Zealand.

It took about 24 hours for the news to register, especially that I'm in the Test squad for the first time, but I'm absolutely delighted.

The Test side has done so well over the last few years so it's exciting to be involved with them. It's going to be brilliant and it's great to be a part of it.

I feel like I have been around county cricket for a while now and my game has improved over the last few seasons. It's nice to be recognised for that.

In particular, I have worked extremely hard on my batting, with the coaches at Warwickshire and with both Goochie and Thorpey when I am with England or the Lions. It seems be to paying off.

I will have to work hard in the nets and in training when I get to New Zealand if I want to get into the side. Perhaps if I get a chance in a warm-up game then that's my opportunity to impress Andy Flower.

I hope the six weeks I spent in New Zealand before Christmas playing for Wellington will stand me in good stead. That went pretty well and I was pleased to have done it, especially now that I am going back there with England.

People say 'cricket is cricket' but conditions change. For example they use a Kookaburra ball rather than the Dukes ball which we use in England, so it's nice to have had experience of things like that before heading back there.

The first thing I will do when we touch down in Auckland is to go straight to the shops. When I packed for the one-day tour of India I thought I would be going home afterwards, so my suitcase is pretty light as I didn't pack much.

Now I find myself heading to New Zealand with hardly any clothes. It's the least of my worries though.

India has been a great experience even if the series didn't go as well as we would have liked. It hasn't been a train smash by any means and had we won in Mohali, when we had a couple of opportunities, then we could have gone to Dharamsala with the series 2-2. Unfortunately that wasn't the case.

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