BBC Sport – Cricket
Surrey spinner Amar Virdi believes he can force his way into the England side for the first Test against West Indies.
The 21-year-old is part of the 30-man training group preparing in Southampton, alongside fellow spinners Moeen Ali, Jack Leach, Dom Bess and Matt Parkinson.
“I definitely want to be playing in the first Test and I want to be in the squad,” said Virdi.
“If I didn’t want to do that I probably shouldn’t be here.”
The off-spinner has been part of the England Lions set-up for three years, having first been picked for a tour of Australia in 2017 after only three first-class matches.
He was part of the Surrey side that won the County Championship in 2018 and has taken 69 wickets in 23 first-class matches.
Unusually for a modern young cricketer, he has never played a top-level limited-overs match.
Virdi was initially among the 55 players England asked to return to training in preparation for the international summer, which begins on 8 July, and now finds himself in a smaller group vying to line-up against the Windies.
“I’m here and I want to play Test cricket,” he said. “I want to show people what I’m capable of doing.
“I’m very proud of myself that I’ve got to this stage. The next stage is about pushing for a Test place and whenever that does happen, I’m going to keep working hard.”
Meanwhile, the England and Wales Cricket Board have confirmed that Pakistan will arrive in the UK on Sunday.
The tourists are set to play three Tests and three Twenty20 internationals, beginning in August.
From the original 29-man squad, 10 tested positive for coronavirus and will only be allowed to travel at a later date if they come through further testing.
The 19 players that will travel are set to isolate for 14 days at Worcestershire’s New Road ground, before playing two internal warm-up matches at the County Ground, Derbyshire.