West Indian batsman Lendl Simmons has spoken of his delight in being added to the Test squad to take on Bangladesh following the withdrawal through injury of Adrian Barath.
He says he is aiming to carry over the good form he showed in the One-Day International series into the Test arena as he bids to 'cement' a spot at the top of the order.
Although Simmons averages a healthy 35.77 in ODI cricket - a figure helped by scores of 80 and 102 in the first two ODIs - he has so far struggled in Tests, scoring 221 runs at just 16.21 in seven matches.
"I’m happy to be called into the Test squad," he said. "It’s a good opportunity for me. It comes at a very good time as I’m in good form with the bat. I’m playing very well and feeling quite comfortable and confident. I had a good ODI Series so the aim is to kick on and get some big scores in the Test Series as well.
"This is a chance for me to put everything right and look to cement a spot. It’s a matter of concentrating hard. When I get a start I know I have to look to build on that and make the most of every opportunity. I have made some big scores at first-class level so I know that in the long version of the game you have to be patient and build a foundation.
"Facing the new ball at this level is always a challenge but at this stage in my career I believe I am more mature and better able to handle the pressure situations. The main job is to assess the pitch, the conditions and the bowlers from early and look to get a start. After that you have to look to build and capitalise on those good starts. Test cricket gives you the opportunity and allows you the time to do just that."
Simmons is expecting a stiff challenge when the series gets underway in Chittagong on 21st October.
"Watching the pitch here in Chittagong it is quite different to the ones we played on in Dhaka. In Dhaka you were able to play your shots a lot more freely. The one here [Chittagong] was quite slow and the ball was gripping a bit on the surface and that made it a bit difficult for the batsmen to score. On this pitch you have to be very watchful and very patient. The key is to get a start and once you get in you can’t give it away. That will be my focus."
© Cricket World 2011