Joe Denly has admitted that he "disappeared" for a couple of years after his last international cricket experience.
Denly, the 32-year-old Kent hitter, played the last of his 14 games with England (nine ODIs and five T20) in February 2010 and accepts that, after being eliminated, he fought for balance to the extent that his "love for the game fell" and his career was in decline.
At its lowest level, Denly, who moved to Middlesex in 2012 but returned to Kent, where he has a testimony in 2019, three years later, went through the 2013 and 2014 seasons without registering a first-class century and averaging 20 years.
Now, however, given a second chance with a summons from the England squad to test Sri Lanka, he feels he is "much better equipped" to cope with the technical and temperamental demands of playing at the top level.
"Certainly guilty, when I was expelled from England in 2010, to do everything possible to get Ack on the team," Denly said. "I put a lot of pressure on myself to go and make and score runs and come back as soon as I could."
"And I really got lost for two or three years. My performances fell. My love for the game diminished a little. I went to Middlesex and had a great time at a great club, but my performances were not where I wanted them to be.
"It was two or three difficult years, it came to a point where I had to start enjoying it again because my career almost faded away." Fortunately, I went back to Kent, started enjoying my cricket again and then started to make and score careers ".
While Denly has enjoyed two strong seasons in succession, he has made nine first -classes since the beginning of 2017, including one against Pakistan this year, and has just been named PCA Most Valuable Player for the 2018 season (a prize that brings a prize of £ 10,000) – admitted that he was not optimistic of winning a call.
"I thought it was too far, if I'm totally honest," Denly said. "There are some very good young players at the county circuit and my name was probably very low on the list at the beginning of the season, it was never in the foreground"
But he feels his maturity and experience making him this time better prepared for deal with the demands of international cricket.
"I have a better understanding of what works for me," he said. "I certainly feel much better equipped and I have a better understanding, not only from the technical point of view, but also of the pressures that this entails, and deal with that on and off the field, without giving me too many laps."
It was pretty quiet. I worried when I was younger about what people thought of me and how I looked. The belief was not entirely there.
"I probably pushed myself too hard, I probably thought too much about failure, if I had a bad network, I would let that affect me, I did not score the races in the middle, I could not stop thinking about it."
Now I am comfortable with my game. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but that belief certainly exists and I really can not wait to get going. "