DateLine: 12th June 2008
He promised much but failed to deliver early on in his career and it seemed that he would never get his one big chance. But fate smiled on him in 2006 when he made his test debut against India at Mumbai due to injury to Michael Vaughan. He immediately impressed with a well made 88 as India were beaten at home.
He is a batsman in the classic test mould and made his first-class debut in 1996, and at the end of only his first summer, was named by Wisden as a talent to watch out for. A couple of poor seasons meant that he was dropped even by his county side Middlesex. He bounced back in 2001 in fine form, and was drafted into England's one-day side, but still continued to play on and off, never cementing his place in the side. He played against Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Australia and New Zealand, but chances were far and few in number and they were too easily squandered.
His international ambitions suffered a further blow when he was relieved of the vice-captaincy at Middlesex in June 2004 after a string of bad results. However, 1728 runs at a healthy average of 66.46 in 2005 meant that he was again knocking on the doors of the selectors and was eventually included in the England A tour of the Caribbean in 2006, and ultimately got his Test debut. But he had to wait another 18 months for his second Test but a series of consistent performances followed in the one-day series. More or less he still continues to be a spectator within the team.