Mum's the word as Tom Westley targets a place in England's Ashes squad

Westley would almost certainly rubber-stamp a trip to Australia later this year if he is able to make a notable contribution in England's final two Investec Tests of the summer, first at Headingley starting on Friday and then onto HQ in two weeks' time.

And after speaking about the likelihood of being selected for England at the Home of Cricket with his mother, Margaret, Westley admitted his surprise at the reaction.

While Westley described his father as "a bricklayer by trade, very vocal and covered in tattoos" - seemingly the polar opposite of his son - the 28-year-old said of his mother: "My mum's always in the background, doing my whites, lunches, doesn't get much credit.

"I spoke to her on the phone about hopefully getting selected for the third Test of this series at Lord's and she just started crying, she couldn't speak back to me. Growing up that's what she envisaged for me as her son: playing at Lord's.

"I can't even bring up the Ashes to her. I was actually shocked on the phone because she couldn't speak back to me. I think getting selected on the Ashes would be times that by 10."

The hope of being named in the first Test in Brisbane on November 23 is tantalising for Westley but the eloquent Durham graduate knows he needs to contribute runs from number three against the Windies.

He has made a solid, if unspectacular, start to his international career, impressing with a battling 59 on debut against South Africa - but that is his only score of note after three Tests.

He said: "I am focusing on the here and now because I want to score runs, I need to score runs. If I don't score any runs then I won't achieve that childhood dream of playing in the Ashes.

"I'm not hedging my bets that I don't score any runs and get picked. I just want to give myself the best chance like any batter settling into the side. If I score runs then it will aid my selection."

Westley's tendency to favour playing through the leg-side has caused consternation in some quarters but the Essex man argued it is a technique which has served him well so far.

It is with some justification, too, having registered centuries against touring Australia and South Africa bowling attacks, while he has been one of the more consistent performers on the county circuit in recent seasons.

He said: "I score consistently through the leg-side so that's not something I'm too concerned about. That's the way I play.

"I'm not going to be someone who changes my entire game plan because I'm playing Test cricket. I've faced Test bowlers in tour games for Essex.

"In the County Championship every team has a top quality overseas. I've scored runs against them. That's quite important to remember.

"If you can score runs against attacks including some of the best bowlers in the world then that can be achieved for England."

If there is an area of improvement to focus on then Westley says it is making sure he converts starts into significant scores, having gone past 20 three times without making a match-winning contribution.

In that regard, he believes he can learn a great deal from England's twin-batting pillars: Essex team-mate Alastair Cook and captain Joe Root, both of whom put the Windies to the sword in the series-opening day-night Test at Edgbaston last week.

Westley said: "Cooky and Rooty showed it in the last game, that when you get in you have to make it count.

"I've got a start in a few of my innings and that's the difference between county cricket where you can get to 30 or 60 and hope a score comes along, but in Test cricket the scrutiny is on you because you have to go on there and then.

"It's my role to score hundreds. That's what I'm there to do at three and make match-winning contributions but I'm confident in my ability and my game plan."

:: Investec is the title sponsor of Test match cricket in England. For Out of the Ordinary thinking visit investec.com/cricket

  Tom Westley is looking to make the number three spot his own in Test cricket for England
Tom Westley is looking to make the number three spot his own in Test cricket for England