Ambrose faces up to expectations of country and family

On Wednesday Warwickshire's Tim Ambrose will, barring injury, become the fourth wicketkeeper England have used in Tests since Alec Stewart retired in 2003. His parents, Ray and Sally, are flying in to Hamilton to celebrate.

Mr and Mrs Ambrose will not have too far to travel. Like Geraint Jones and Matthew Prior, two of his predecessors, Ambrose was not born in England. The 25-year-old is from Newcastle, Australia, a three-hour flight across the Tasman.

"I'm looking forward to seeing them," said Ambrose, following the team's journey from Dunedin to Hamilton. "It will be good to catch up. My Dad came over in the summer to visit me but I haven't seen my Mum for a couple of years because she's living in Australia so it's quite a trek and my winters have been a bit busy the last few years .

"They are getting in on Tuesday evening and having them there will mean a great deal to me, as will making my debut. I was talking to Stuart Broad the other night and he was telling me about his debut in Colombo. It was sending shivers down my spine the way he was talking about it. He was very proud of the moment and I'm sure I'll feel the same way.

"I don't think anyone really knows how they will react until they actually get there. I haven't felt too many nerves so far so I'm just generally excited and looking forward to hopefully getting a chance."

Ambrose faces an unenviable task. Not only are Test keepers now expected to take every catch that comes their way, they also have to score runs. His performance in Hamilton will be scrutinised as closely as those of Andrew Strauss and Stephen Harmison, who both need strong displays.

Ambrose's glovework was impressive in the three-day game against a New Zealand Select XI in Dunedin and he will have benefited from an hour at the crease on Saturday afternoon. Strauss and Ian Bell enjoyed the final day of England's warm-up game too, scoring centuries.

"[Australia's Adam] Gilchrist has definitely raised the bar," said Ambrose. "I think he's been inspirational for people who try to do the job I try to do. It's great to have someone at that level to aim for and there's no reason why people cannot aim for the same goals and standards he has set in the past.

"I am very pleased with the way I'm catching it and I'm still working towards where I want to be with my batting, but it was good to get 33 in Dunedin, to find out exactly where I am."

Ambrose is a popular man on tour, being the best guitarist in the squad. The current England side contains several budding strummers and on travel days Graeme Swann and James Anderson can be seen carrying their instruments on to the bus. Ambrose is possibly being listened to as closely as Ottis Gibson, the team's bowling coach.

"I wouldn't say I was a serious guitarist although I've been playing for quite a while," said Ambrose. "A few of the other guys are trying to learn on tour so it's been good having some people to play along with. We've played together a few times but we haven't let anyone in to watch us yet. I've never played in a band; it's always been a relaxation thing for me really. It seems to help me to unwind.

"Some of the boys call me Bob Dylan because I'm a big fan of his, I'm a big fan of folk music. But keeping wicket is not great for my playing. I've had to adjust my style slightly because I got a bit of a thumb injury and it didn't quite bend the right way, but I've managed to work around that."

Apparently there is footage of Ambrose playing guitar to be found on YouTube, under a hidden identity. If he becomes the cricketer England want him to be it will not be long before he appears on the website for his endeavours on a cricket field.

New Zealand have included the uncapped all-rounder Grant Elliott in their 13-man squad for the first Test. Elliott played against England in Dunedin, taking 2 for 40 in 21 overs and scoring 28.

New Zealand squad: DL Vettori (capt), MD Bell, GD Elliott, SP Fleming, JM How, CS Martin, BB McCullum, KD Mills, IE O'Brien, JDP Oram, JS Patel, MS Sinclair, LRPL Taylor.

News
University Edible Garden, Leeds – a sustainable garden in the centre of the university, passers-by can help themselves to the home-grown produce
newsFrom a former custard factory to a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
media
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz