London, Aug.14 : Indian-born Samit Patel is still recovering from the shock of being named in England's squad for the one-day series against South Africa which starts next week.
According to The Sun, Patel has certainly earned the call-up as he has excelled with both bat and ball in the 50-over Friends Provident Trophy earlier this season:
He averaged 42 with the bat and picked up 14 wickets at 13.5 runs apiece with his orthodox left-arm spin.
But he has absolutely no clue what has earned him national duty honours.
"When I first got the call I was shocked," admitted Patel, who is certain of being given a warm-up match with England Lions against the tourists either today at Leicestershire's Grace Road ground, or on Saturday at the County Ground in Derby.
"I thought Geoff Miller (Chief England selector] was only calling me about the England Lions games."
Patel has always been on the England radar since appearing at under-15 level. Under-17 and under-19 followed, the Lions and then England next week are just natural progressions, but his selection, provided he reproduces his FP Trophy form today, Saturday and in the NatWest series, opens up the distinct possibility of his being called up for the tour to India this winter.
"I cannot stress enough how much I want to get out there and play for England," he said yesterday.
Patel, who was born in Leicester, but moved with the family to Nottingham when he was two, said: "My family is from Gujarat, so it would be a big deal for me if I were picked to go on England's tour of India this winter. I have got aunts and grandparents over there. They would support me. And of course Ahmedabad would be a big match for me."