Kieswetter keen to push Test claims

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The Independent Online

Craig Kieswetter has set his sights on playing Test cricket and keeping Matt Prior out of England's limited-overs side after ending his own nine-month exile from the senior set-up.

Kieswetter has been recalled as the wicketkeeper-batsman for the NatWest Series Twenty20 clash with Sri Lanka at Bristol tomorrow and the five one-day internationals.

He was England's ICC World Twenty20 final hero 13 months ago with 63 and the man-of-the-match award against Australia after previously scoring his maiden ODI century in Bangladesh.

A woeful run of form in ODI matches last summer against Australia and Bangladesh led to him losing his place and he has made just two Twenty20 appearances against Pakistan since then in September.

Now Kieswetter is back and looking to keep Prior on the sidelines in the shorter versions of the game but also to stake a claim for a Test breakthrough.

He said: "I'd love to play Test cricket. That's the pinnacle. I always grew up wanting to playing Test cricket.

"There wasn't Twenty20 when I was eight or nine and Test cricket is what you aimed for.

"But right now I've got a Twenty20 and a one-day series to look forward and that is all I'm putting my energy into right now."

Kieswetter has never lacked confidence but is cautious about trumpeting his recall ahead of Prior.

He said: "I wouldn't say I've won the battle already. I think with any spot in the side there are always battles and people coming up behind to try and take your spot.

"There is always competition and at the moment I've got the gloves and I'm going to try hardest to make sure they are mine."

Kieswetter admits he had to improve his game to earn a recall after last summer's poor run of form - just 121 runs in eight ODI appearances.

He said: "It was probably the biggest setback in my career without a doubt (being dropped).

"Mentally that was the biggest challenge I had to get through and I feel I've worked hard and learnt a lot of lessons from that.

"I don't think I ever felt I was big enough to be playing or belonged in the side.

"I felt my performances warranted me not being in the side. That is the way cricket is.

"It is about learning lessons and being able to mature and become responsible, and learn from the mistakes to become a better player. I've been working on that."

New England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad is winning his battle to be fit to lead the side tomorrow.

Broad suffered a bruised heel on the final day of the third npower Test with the Sri Lankans at the Rose Bowl.

But Broad looked to be suffering no ill effects when he took part in intense fielding drills with his team-mates at Bristol yesterday.

A heavy rain shower meant Broad was only able to bowl one ball in the nets before the players were forced to leave the outfield, but ECB officials confirmed the paceman was only ever intended to undertake a light bowling session before stepping up his preparations today.