Adam Riley: Kent spinner staying grounded after England talk

Adam Riley
Adam Riley took 48 wickets at an average of 32.58 in the Championship last season

Kent off-spinner Adam Riley is aiming to focus on his own game this season despite some pundits calling for him to be included in the England squad.

The 23-year-old played for the England Lions in South Africa this winter.

"I am realistic about where I am," Riley told BBC Radio Kent.

"Everyone has ambitions to better themselves and play international cricket but at the same time I have still got plenty of cricket to play and experience to gain."

Sidcup-born Riley took 48 wickets at an average of 32.58 in the County Championship last season, keeping James Tredwell out of the side.

Riley was included in the England Performance Programme in Sri Lanka over the winter and appeared in the second unofficial Test against South Africa A in January.

The right-armer then played for the MCC against Yorkshire in the season's traditional curtain-raiser in Abu Dhabi.

Adam Riley
Riley took match figures of 4-118 as the MMC were defeated by Yorkshire in Abu Dhabi last month

However, Tredwell - who spent time on loan at Sussex last season in a bid to play more four-day cricket - was included in the England Test squad for the tour of the West Indies and took figures of 4-47 in the first innings of the first Test in Antigua.

Riley is flattered that ex-players including Andrew Strauss and Michael Vaughan have tipped him to play for the national side, though he says such talk can be "a bit surreal".

"Last year I had Andrew Strauss saying I should be in the Test team after a good start to the season," said Riley.

"It is nice to be in the press for the right reasons but you have got to be realistic, brush it off and focus on what is important.

"I guess there is some expectation, from the outside looking in. I try not to listen to all that and not put too much pressure on myself.

"I know all I have got to do early season is try to carry on where I was at the end of last season."

BBC Radio Kent's Matt Cole:
"Adam Riley forced his way into the Championship side last season at the expense of England's James Tredwell, and pundits are queuing up to demand his inclusion in the Test squad this summer."
Read the BBC's club-by-club guide ahead of the start of Surrey's campaign.

With Tredwell away in the Caribbean, Riley is set to play for Kent in their opening match of the Division Two campaign against Essex at Chelmsford on Sunday.

"Treddy being away has made the selection headache a little bit easier," added Riley.

"I'll hopefully get a couple of games in the County Championship before he gets back to try to impress and hopefully nail down my place in the four-day side.

"There's no reason when he comes back why we can't play two spinners."