'I never look too far ahead but I'm now a bit more mature, a bit older now so I know my game a bit better and it's been nice that I've been able to score runs this early season and obviously get runs against the tourists.

'If I score runs I always get a text from Cook , just saying well done. I just had a text from him saying , “what was it like?” but I'm yet to reply. I might tell him it's doing all sorts ! 'It proved a day to forget for Sri Lanka's attack , who managed just two wickets in 75 overs before Essex were forced to declare on 412-4 – having faced a total of 100 overs – such are the ECB's regulations for this three-day game.