Adam Lyth readily accepts he must first prove himself with Yorkshire if he is to be given another opportunity of becoming the long-term partner to Alastair Cook at the top of England’s batting order.
Lyth had a summer of ups and downs in 2015, following up his international bow against New Zealand at Lord’s with a century in the next Test on his home ground of Headingley.
He played all five matches in the triumphant Ashes campaign but an average of 12.77, with a highest score of 37, saw him omitted from the touring squads which faced Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates and South Africa this winter.
Despite England’s success against the Proteas, one of the opening positions remains very much up in the air after Alex Hales, the eighth man to partner Cook since the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012, struggled to press his claims.
While Lyth has been paying attention to England’s fortunes overseas, the 28-year-old is focused on beginning the county season with a bang in order to force his way into the national selectors’ minds once again.
He said: “When you get a taste of international cricket, all you want is more and I do.
“It obviously didn’t go to plan in the last five Test matches in the Ashes, it was tough but that’s what Test cricket’s about.
“It’s not going to be easy and opening the batting is the hardest job to do, so if I do get another chance then I’ve got to be better at that. I’m sure I’ll be a lot better than what I’ve done.
“The experiences and the highs and lows of what I’ve gone through last summer will only help me going forward.
“I feel like I’m good enough and capable enough to score runs at the highest level.
“But I’ve got to go out and score runs for Yorkshire, hopefully win some games for Yorkshire and then I’ll get a go back in the (England) side. There’s a long way to go.”
Lyth was under scrutiny for a perceived weakness outside off stump after 10 of his 13 Test innings were ended by catches behind the wicket.
However, the left-hander believes there is no technical flaw, rather he needs to be more judicious in his approach at the start of an innings.
He said: “At the end of the day, I’ve got to play the way I played for Yorkshire and I’ll continue to do that.
“A couple of times I got some good balls but obviously a few times I’ve played some bad shots. But I’ve been working hard in the nets and I feel good at the minute.
“My technique’s exactly the same. I guess it’s just leaving those balls that might get you out. The best players leave well, don’t they?”
Lyth does not have to look too far for inspiration if he is to once again realise his aim of representing England, with Yorkshire colleagues Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow forcing their way back into international contention after a period out of the team.
Lyth said: “Rooty got dropped and he’s the best batsman in the world so I guess it happens to the best.
“I don’t think there’s that many Test cricketers that haven’t been dropped for a period of time, so you try to bounce back and come back as a player.
“Hopefully I’ll play some more games but if I don’t, I’ve won an Ashes. I obviously don’t want to end up on seven Test matches, I want to play more.
“My end goal is playing for England again as everybody wants to but my first goal is winning games for Yorkshire and putting in big performances with the Yorkshire first team.”
Chris Jordan demonstrated his all-round ability in England’s 163-run trouncing of South Africa A – but still faces a battle to be selected for the start of the forthcoming one-day international series.
Jordan ended with three wickets, three slip catches and 33 unbeaten runs from 14 deliveries.
His was the best of a clutch of handy contributions to back up James Taylor’s 116, as England piled up 368-7 and then bowled their hosts out in just 30.5 overs.
But Jordan is hopeful rather than expectant that he will be included again for the first of five one-day internationals against South Africa in Bloemfontein on Wednesday.
“I guess what I did can’t do me any harm,” said the Sussex seamer.