Patel - My time to shine
Samit Patel is ready to prove he is worthy of a first Test cap against Sri Lanka when the two-Test series gets under way.
Last Updated: 12/03/12 4:54pm
Samit Patel is ready to prove he is worthy of a first Test cap against Sri Lanka during the upcoming two-match series.
The Nottinghamshire all-rounder was handed his first call-up for the sub-continent trip after impressing in recent one-day internationals against India and Pakistan.
He will be challenging Ravi Bopara for the slot vacated by the dropped Eoin Morgan, with each man likely to be given a chance in the pre-Test warm-up matches.
While Bopara is widely considered a better batsman, Patel will hope his steady left-arm spin can tip things in his favour on turning tracks in Colombo and Galle.
"This is a different thing for me because I've never been in a Test squad before and I'm quite excited really," said Patel.
"It's a massive boost for me having never been in the squad before and I'm very excited to show everyone what I can really do and take any opportunities I'm given.
"One of my goals is to play Test cricket. I've always wanted to do that as well as one-day cricket. I want to play all formats for England.
"It's easy to get here, the toughest bit is staying in the squad and staying in the team.
"I'm ready to come in and bat where I'm asked to bat and do the job with the ball. I'm comfortable with the role I've been set."
Patel was one of seven England players to arrive in Sri Lanka a week ahead of the main group - and the only one who was also involved in the limited-overs matches against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
As well as helping the likes of Andrew Strauss, Ian Bell and Matt Prior with their technique against spin, Patel's early arrival also represents a new-found desire to work hard for an international future.
His England career stalled for some time due to fitness and weight concerns but he now feels he has the right attitude towards his off-field regime.
"Fitness is a key factor and everyone has to work hard on their fitness - some more than others," he said.
"It's probably an issue that will stay with me, but I'm not frustrated.
"The more work you do, the better you feel. Hopefully I am doing the right things now."