Warwickshire batsman Varun Chopra intends to learn from the best as he prepares to join the England set-up in Loughborough next week before flying out to Sri Lanka.
Chopra, who has just signed a new contract binding him to Warwickshire until the end of the 2014 season, is in the Potential England Performance Programme squad which will spend ten weeks in Sri Lanka – three at a training camp and then, for the Bears opener and the other batsmen, seven weeks playing in domestic cricket.
The 24-year-old forced himself into the selectors’ thoughts last season with 1,178 championship runs at an average of 45.30.
He started spectacularly, in the first two matches becoming the first Warwickshire player ever to score back-to-back double centuries, and finished well with a ton against Hampshire at The Rose Bowl.
In that last match he added 188 with overseas signing Shiv Chanderpaul who came into the team late on and chalked up three centuries in five matches.
And former Essex batsman Chopra, right at the start of his international career, was hungry to learn all he could from one of the top players of his generation.
“I spoke to Shiv a lot as I think most of the guys did,” he said. “He is a quiet, unassuming guy but always ready to give advice if you want it.
“When he speaks you listen because he is top-quality. He has done it year in and year out and is a great example.
“He is the sort of player who had runs on the board before anybody has noticed. You can have all the shots in the world but it is all about understanding your own game, trusting it and playing within it.
“That’s what players like Shiv, Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott do and that’s what I am working to get towards.
“I had a reasonable season this year but have to look to improve next time. This tour to Sri Lanka will be great because I will be allocated to a first-class side and play three-day cricket for them.