Mark Stoneman admits he will be “on trial” in England’s two-Test series against New Zealand.
Stoneman is well aware he failed to take the chances in this winter’s 4-0 Ashes defeat which might have established him as a lasting opening partner for all-time national record runscorer Alastair Cook.
Instead, after a campaign which brought Stoneman 232 runs at an average of 25.77, he knows he must restate his claims against another high-quality pace attack here. Two months after packing away the Ashes with an innings defeat in the final Test in Sydney, Stoneman said: “I think I’ve got myself on trial really.”
But following the first net session of a week in Hamilton before Auckland’s inaugural pink-ball Test next week, he spelled out too that he will not lack for self-confidence.
“I always put myself under pressure and can be my own worst critic at times.
“I’m expecting good things of myself - that’s the most important thing.”
England’s selectors have demonstrated belief too, by selecting him for this tour.
“It’s nice to have that bit of faith in you,” added the 30-year-old left-hander.
“They’ve seen something in what I’ve done so far to show there’s a good international career to be unlocked – so that’s the kind of expectations and pressure I’m putting on myself to fulfil that.”