Kent batsman Joe Denly wants to recreate his opening partnership with Rob Key on the England stage.
Denly is aiming to score 1,000 first-class runs for the first time to make 2008 the most memorable season of his career so far.
The 22-year-old has starred in limited overs and four-day cricket for the county, catching the eye of media pundits and the England selectors alike. So much so that the selectors sent chief ECB scout and former Derbyshire coach, Dave Houghton, to watch Denly play against Yorkshire in Scarborough last month.
Having hit 884 runs and two championship hundreds, as well as 568 runs at an average of 40 in the one-day league and Friends Provident Trophy, Denly looks nailed on for this winter’s ECB development programme and a good bet for a Lions tour. However, he has his sights set on even bigger things.
He said: "Opening the batting with Rob Key has helped and moulded the way I play. It’s great to watch him from the other end and see how he goes about his work.
"I was nervous at first but he made me feel really at home. Rob’s a big believer in the no-fear approach.
"To open the batting for England one day would be special, to do it with Rob would be brilliant. We enjoy batting together and he makes me feel at ease."