Jade Dernbach is not allowing his recent England exclusion to erode his international ambitions, and the Surrey seamer has his hopes pinned on an eventual ascension to Test cricket. England took the decision to omit Dernbach from the current limited overs encounters with Sri Lanka, with the bowler dropped following the T20 World Cup in March.
Dernbach has made 58 appearances for England across the 20-over and 50-over formats since earning his international debut three years ago, but the selectors have favoured newcomers Chris Jordan and Harry Gurney in their first squads of the summer.
But speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport, Dernbach was feeling bullish about his prospects for the future and is determined to play his way back into the reckoning by taking wickets with both the red and white ball for his county.
“There’s been many sportsmen greater than myself who have been in my shoes before, being dropped from the pinnacle of their sports,” the 28-year-old explained. “These things happen - form comes and goes in professional sports and I just need to deal with that.
“The best way to do that is by getting back to Surrey, working on the basics and just honing in on my skills again.
“Hopefully that opportunity [international cricket] comes again and I can be a better player. That’s something at the forefront of my mind.
“I want to get back into that England side and be able to give something more and people can say ‘yes, he has gone away and worked on his game and got better’. That’s all you can ask for.”
Being away from the international set-up, of course, affords Dernbach the opportunity to play regularly for Surrey and, particularly, in the County Championship. It could be, then, that being left out of England duty counts in Dernbach’s favour in the long-run, given the chances he now has to perform in the longer form of the game.
For all the glitz, glamour and financial incentives attached to performing in the various T20 leagues across the world, Test cricket very much remains the pinnacle of the sport. It is something not lost on Dernbach, who maintains the ambition to appear for England at the highest level.
It is a format in which he was able to achieve the slightest of tastes during the formative days of his international career, and Dernbach remains desperate to satisfy his hunger by competing for England in a pristine white jersey, rather than a blue one.
“I was lucky enough to get myself into a Test squad when Sri Lanka were touring here back in 2011. I played in the touring match and managed to get a few wickets, and then got called into the Test squad when Jimmy [Anderson] went down injured,” Dernbach said.
“It was great to have that experience although, obviously, I didn’t step out onto the field. [Playing Test cricket] is still something that is a burning desire inside of me. I want to know that I’ve been able to test myself at every level, and Test cricket is still one that I haven’t quite been able to reach yet. But there’s still plenty of time - I’m still young.”