Samit Patel ready to fight for Test spot


Samit Patel is no longer willing to let concerns over his fitness stand in the way of his England ambitions.

The Nottinghamshire all-rounder is on his first Test tour in Sri Lanka, having done enough in recent one-day series against India and Pakistan to earn a summons in the longer format.

A Test call once appeared unlikely, with team director Andy Flower making no secret about his worries over the 27-year-old's weight and conditioning.

But Patel has made noticeable improvements in both departments over the last year and is under consideration for a Test debut in Galle on March 26, where his ability as a third spin option could come in handy.

He was the only member of the one-day squad that faced Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates to join the group of seven early arrivals in Sri Lanka last week - a fact that stands testament to his new-found willingness to meet England's exacting standards.

"I'm not frustrated (about the focus on his condition), fitness is a key factor and everyone has to work hard on their fitness - some more than others," he said ahead of the squad's first full training session in Colombo.

"It's probably an issue that will stay with me. But the more work you do, the better you feel. It's a confidence thing, getting back into shape, and it's about doing the right things. Hopefully I'm doing the right things now."

Patel also accepts he may have to take on a greater workload than some of his team-mates to keep himself fit, but is ready to do so in order to fulfil his ambitions of becoming a Test player.

"Extra sessions are going to have to be done and you just have to get on with it," he said.

"You have to do the hard yards and the extra sessions that some might not need to.

"One of my goals is to play Test cricket. I've always wanted to do that as well as one-day cricket. 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, 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 has been elevated to the Test squad having achieved a measure of consistency in an England one-day side that has frequently lacked that quality.

He understands he may yet have to wait to earn a first Test cap, with Ravi Bopara marginally ahead of him in the queue to take Eoin Morgan's spot in the team, but is ready to take any chance to prove his credentials.

"This is a different thing for me because I've never been in a Test squad before and I'm excited really," said Patel.

"It's a massive boost for me having never been in the squad before and I'm very excited to show everyone what I can really do and take any opportunities I'm given.

"This is my first Test squad so easing my way in could be a crucial factor, but opportunities will arrive at some point.

"Having more games under my belt will be crucial for me too and just doing the skills out here, on and off the field, that are right for me."


Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
love + sex
Arts and Entertainment
Victoria Wood, Kayvan Novak, Alexa Chung, Chris Moyles
tvReview: No soggy bottoms, but plenty of other baking disasters on The Great Comic Relief Bake Off
Ashley Young celebrates the winner for Manchester United against Newcastle
footballNewcastle 0 Man United 1: Last minute strike seals precious victory
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Seth Rogan is one of America’s most famous pot smokers
filmAmy Pascal resigned after her personal emails were leaked following a cyber-attack sparked by the actor's film The Interview
Benjamin Netanyahu and his cartoon bomb – the Israeli PM shows his ‘evidence’
Arts and Entertainment
80s trailblazer: comedian Tracey Ullman
Life and Style
A statue of the Flemish geographer Gerard Kremer, Geradus Mercator (1512 - 1594) which was unveiled at the Geographical Congree at Anvers. He was the first person to use the word atlas to describe a book of maps.
techThe 16th century cartographer created the atlas
Arts and Entertainment
Stephen Tompkinson is back as DCI Banks
tvReview: Episode one of the new series played it safe, but at least this drama has a winning formula
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot