Mustard - The runs will come
England wicketkeeper-batsman Phil Mustard is confident he can consolidate his position at the top of the order.
Last Updated: 07/02/08 7:32am
After a promising start in England's opening Twenty20 international against New Zealand on Tuesday, Phil Mustard is confident he can consolidate his position at the top of the batting order.
The 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman is making his one-day bow for England this winter after enjoying a superb 2007 season for Durham, when his hard-hitting style was regularly to the fore.
Mustard averaged nearly 50 in one-day cricket with a strike rate of 111 - a figure which increased to an impressive 135 in Twenty20 - and also hit 49 off 38 balls to help Durham claim their inaugural Friends Provident Trophy success over Hampshire at Lord's.
He also showed a glimpse of what he is capable of by scoring 20 off 13 balls opening for England during their 32-run Twenty20 win over New Zealand on Tuesday and reckons there could be more to come in both Thursday's second T20 match and the upcoming one-day series.
"We had a couple of warm-up games down in Canterbury and I got the basics right and last night I was able to capitalise on that and made a few runs," Mustard said.
"It's always my goal to do well in an England shirt, but I'm going to go out and enjoy my cricket and hopefully I can get a few runs as well - the runs will come."
With England also looking to resolve their wicketkeeper-batsman conundrum in the five-day game, Mustard faces stiff competition from Warwickshire's Tim Ambrose to play in the three-match Test series, which starts in Hamilton on March 5.
But he is aware that by making a strong impression before then, he has every chance of making his bow in Test cricket.
He added: "It's always a goal to play Test cricket, that's number one in my priorities but we have Twenty20 and one-dayers coming up. I'll take every game but then hopefully get a chance in the Test series.
"It was a very good performance on Tuesday and we went out there and made a good statement for the rest of the tour - hopefully tomorrow night will be just the same."
England are expected to name an unchanged line-up for Thursday's match in Christchurch as they attempt to claim consecutive Twenty20 International wins for the first time against major opposition.