Samit Patel taking nothing for granted on Test selection for England
Samit Patel knows there is a long way to go to win a place in England's Test team after impressing against India A.
Last Updated: 01/11/12 11:42am
The 27-year-old's 82 not out in Mumbai help form an unbroken stand of 153 with captain Alastair Cook which moved the team to 286-4 in reply to India A's 369 all out.
Patel's performance strengthens his prospects of a Test return as a batting all-rounder, although he is not making any assumptions regarding selection.
"It's obviously great to get a good start in the first game and a good score - I feel great," said Patel.
"But there's still a lot of work to do and two (warm-up) games left, so I haven't got that position yet. I'm getting better, and the more games I play the better I'll be."
Patel was full of praise for Cook, who reached an unbeaten 112 by the close of play.
"I thought Cookie played out of his skin," he continued. "To bat all day is a great effort. Chef's character and work ethic is outstanding, and it shows in his batting.
"One of our things is to grind and grind and grind and work hard as a unit and keep India in the dirt."
The match saw the return of Kevin Pietersen in an England shirt for the first time since his fall-out with management last summer.
The South Africa-born batsman made an eye-catching 23 before being caught-and-bowled by his old adversary Yuvraj Singh, although Patel was still happy with his return.
"I think Kev started off his innings amazingly. That shows the character of the person and the player he is," said Patel.
"It's fantastic to have him as a member of the team. I think we need that out here - a bit of oomph to get us going.
"KP does it outstandingly well, and we're glad to have him back. He looks in fantastic nick ... shame he got out, but it's just the way it goes."