Sidebottom - I've a lot to prove
Ryan Sidebottom insists he is not taking his England place for granted despite his outstanding form in the winter.
Last Updated: 18/04/08 7:40am
Ryan Sidebottom insists he is not taking his England place for granted, despite his outstanding form in the winter.
The left-arm seamer was named man-of-the-series against New Zealand after previously being the pick of the bowlers on the tour of Sri Lanka before Christmas.
After waiting six years between his first and second cap, Sidebottom is now determined to prove himself as more than a one-winter wonder.
Speaking to Sky Sports News at the launch of England's new adidas kit at Lord's, he explained how he is completely focused on the home series with New Zealand, which gets under way next month.
"I've not really sat down and thought about the winter, I just want to look forward to the future," Sidebottom said.
"I've only played a handful of games, so I still have a lot to prove. I'm not going to take it for granted.
"Doing alright in one series is not great, you need to back that up with consistent performances and hopefully I can do that."
First up for England on home soil is a return series with New Zealand, followed by four Tests against South Africa.
Sidebottom believes the seven matches will show just what shape the team are in ahead of the Ashes battle with Australia the following summer.
"New Zealand are a competitive side and we're not taking them lightly, then there's South Africa who are probably doing as well as Australia at the moment.
"That's going to be a tough series. It will see where we are in world cricket at the moment."
Team-mate Ian Bell is also well aware of the importance of getting on a good run of results before coming up against Ricky Ponting's side.
"It's been a very tricky winter," the Warwickshire batsman admitted to Sky Sports News.
"Hopefully we can take the momentum of winning the last two Tests (against New Zealand) into Lord's and have a good start to the summer.
"South Africa are also going to be a real test. There's some real tough cricket coming up but the guys are looking forward to it.
"We'll see by the end of the summer where we are leading up to the Ashes series. It's a great time to be involved with England."