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11th April 2008

Mustard Keen To Copy Gilchrist

Gilchrist, who retired from international cricket in March, opened the batting for Australia’s one-day side where his array of attacking shots would often lay the platform for the innings.

But in the Test side Gilchrist would bat at number seven, although his strokeplay was no less destructive.

And the 25-year-old Durham batsman, who spinner Shane Warne has likened to his former international team-mate, is optimistic he can justify the comparisons.

“Obviously I have opened for England in the one-day side and I think could be a lower-order batsman in the Test side – similar to what Adam Gilchrist did for Australia,” Mustard said.

“I think I have got off to a decent start for England in one-day cricket, although I’m still very much on a learning curve.

“It’s great just being involved at the moment but this is a big summer for me to really kick on.

Adam Gilchrist has set the benchmark for wicketkeepers “I have had 10 innings and every time I go out to bat I’m no slouch, I don’t take anything for granted and I’ve got to do it.

“Obviously it is every boys’ dream to play Test cricket in front of thousands of people and that’s a big target for me this year and that is what I’ll be working towards.

“If England are a bit patient with me they will get it back with interest.”

Mustard is pragmatic enough to realise that he will have to oust Tim Ambrose form the Test side after the Warwickshire wicketkeeper impressed during the series win in New Zealand.

Ambrose hit 102 in the second Test in Wellington to spark England’s turnaround, but Mustard insists he will be waiting in the wings for his chance.

He said: “Tim has done well in the longer game but I don’t think there is a lot of pressure on me to respond despite the way Tim has performed.

“I’m going to just go out and enjoy my cricket with Durham and let the natural talent take over.

“I have a good couple of good chats with Peter Moores and he has encouraged me to continue the aggressive approach.

“If I’m scoring runs and keeping well for Durham, and a place crops up, I’ll be determined to take it.”

Mustard also feels Durham’s unique team spirit means that they can match their achievements of 2007 where they won the Friends Provident Trophy, claimed promotion in the NatWest Pro40 and were runners-up in the LV County Championship.

“This season a big season for everyone. At the start of the year people always say it is going to be a big season and we need to continue what we did last year,” Mustard added.

“With the success Durham had last year I think the guys are all buzzing just to start again and try and go for some more trophies.

“It was such a great season for Durham – we were tipped to get relegated and tipped not to go very far and obviously we did brilliantly and proved some of the doubters wrong.

“We’ve got some great experienced players along with the younger guys as well and everyone is just best mates.

“You get some teams who are just a group of individuals but at Durham its a team where everyone is good friends and we have a great vibe.

“If we can keep that team spirit and togetherness I think we can perform this year just as well as well as we did last year.”