Taking my game to the next level

Posted in England team blog

Being out in Sri Lanka has been a huge learning experience for me. It's my first tour with the Test squad and I am going to take as much as I can from this trip.

I didn't expect to get called up. I switched on my phone after flying back from the United Arab Emirates and had a message from Geoff Miller to call him. I was excited to get the news. I was hopeful but I didn't expect it.

I couldn't wait to get going but it didn't sink in until I arrived here in Sri Lanka for an early camp with a few of the other boys. The rest of the squad arrived over the weekend.

It took a few days to get used to the heat. It's different to India and the UAE where I was with the one-day squad recently. It's a lot more sticky and there isn't any breeze so you are always sweating.

Bev (Huw Bevan, strength and conditioning coach) said it takes 14 days to fully acclimatise. The boys are doing all right though. We just get on with it.

We have our first tour game on Thursday. I feel prepared and if selected hopefully I'll do well. It's an opportunity for me to show what I can do before the first Test.

The number six or seven position is what I am going for. If I play then it gives us the option of three spinners.

The fact that I bat and bowl has got me where I am. I have two strings. That's important for me as it keeps me in the game. If I don't get runs then I can get wickets.

I'll definitely be nervous, as any player would, if I make my debut. I'd like to think I'd thrive on it though and put down a marker. I've always wanted to play Test cricket but this is where the hard work starts. A good performance in your first Test will boost your confidence.

I feel I am ready. Preparation is key, especially over here. You have to prepare well and be mentally focused.

Even if I don't play then I know my game is going forwards by being out here. It's my first Test trip and it's a learning experience. I'm taking everything I can from this trip, like the sessions I've had with Goochie and Mushy. You have to keep improving your game.