Fringe England seamer Steve Finn is keen to force his way back into the side but is nevertheless over the moon at the team's progress.
The 6ft 7 Middlesex star is the youngest player to reach 50 Test wickets for England having made his debut in March 2010, but the form of Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan has prevented him from staying in the XI of late.
However, rather than curse his luck, the 22-year-old is working hard on his weaknesses and recently bagged his best one-day figures against Derbyshire with 5-33 last.
Finn said: "It was nice to get those figures in the one-day game and then get the call to be told that I was going to go up and be in the squad. I was honoured to be part of the (England) squad at Trent Bridge. Unfortunately I didn't get in but the lads played fantastically well.
"Obviously if you're not playing, it's not envy - it's just a hunger to get back into the team. The lads have been playing really really well and if I do get an opportunity that'll be great. I'll just keep plugging away for Middlesex.
"I'm bowling better this year than I did last year but last year I played in the Tests and this year I've only played one. It can be frustrating but what's important is that England has a squad of people that can perform and hopefully I'm one of those people who can go out there and do that if needs be.
"We're very good in our own conditions and we were very good in Australia. It'll be different when we go to the sub-continent this winter, but I'm sure we've got a diverse group of bowlers who can cope with any conditions. It's going to be a massive test for us."
"The economy rate is something I'm working on. This year it's been far better than last season and Test cricket is a tough place to be - it's a great challenge. Hopefully if I get another opportunity in Test cricket I can keep the runs down a bit.
"The number one spot is a massive thing for us. We want to sustain ourselves as the best side in the world but you can't look too far ahead. This next game is the most important thing - we look to win every Test as it is anyway. In the build-up to the Test there'll be no thoughts about the number one spot. We're just trying to play good cricket and do what we need to do to win the game.
"It was amazing to be part of the Ashes. I was gutted not to play the last two - probably the most important ones, but it just shows the strength in depth we have as a team - anyone can come into the team and play incredibly well. It was an incredible experience and something that can't be sniffed at for a 21-year-old."
Finn was quick to talk up the team spirit in the England dressing room - highlighting the unity that has helped Andrew Strauss' men climb to the summit of the international game.
Finn said: "Unfortunately I've got the pleasure of playing in the same team as (Graeme) Swann and (James) Anderson. Those two guys are pretty hard on you. If you're with them for a few hours in the day, they'll nail you. It's great to have those people there to take the mickey out of everyone. You try and get away from them in your room and they're climbing on your windows trying to get in.
"I've played a lot with Eoin Morgan at Middlesex and we started playing for England around the same time. We spent a lot of time together. Swann and Anderson will sniff you out and the others are great as well. It's like a club team playing international cricket.
"Angus Fraser has had a massive influence on how things have improved at Middlesex. He's the most miserable man I've ever met but it's great for the team to have someone like that at the helm who doesn't let you get ahead of yourselves. I think we've won more games this year than we did in the last three seasons put together but we can't be satisfied by that."