England's Patel eyes Test spot

2012-03-12 14:32
Samit Patel (AFP)

Colombo - Samit Patel said on Monday he was hopeful his all-round talents would help him win a Test cap for England during the upcoming series against Sri Lanka.

The 27-year-old Nottinghamshire player will vie with Ravi Bopara for the batting spot left vacant after the exclusion of Eoin Morgan for the two-Test series starting on March 26.

Patel, a left-arm spinner and right-hand batsman who has played 25 one-dayers and eight Twenty20 internationals for England, hoped to prove his Test credentials in the two warm-up matches in Colombo.

"I am looking forward to getting a spot on the Test team," Patel told reporters in Colombo. "Its a massive opportunity and I will push my case in the warm-up games.

"One of my goals is to play Test cricket. I've always wanted to do that. 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 conceded beating Sri Lanka in their own backyard was a challenge for England, the number one Test side in the world, who were stunned 3-0 by Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates recently.

"Beating Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka is a massive challenge," he said. "Having said that, staying on top of the Test ranking and hanging onto it for another year is also challenging."

Patel, who had been dropped earlier from the England one-day squad for being overweight, said he had worked hard on his fitness 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."

England will take on the President's XI in a three-day match at the Premadasa stadium in Colombo from Thursday.

The tourists will play another three-day fixture at the Sinhalese sports club in Colombo from March 20, before the two back-to-back Tests in Galle and Colombo.


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