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Alex Mellor is aiming to follow a globetrotting winter with a serious push for regular first-team cricket for Warwickshire in 2017.

The 25-year-old wicketkeeper/batsman travelled out to Melbourne in early October, where he played club cricket and worked on his keeping skills before returning in late February.

He is now in India spending five days at the Global Cricket School in Mumbai, along with fellow Bears players Sam Hain, Matt Lamb and Liam Banks, under the supervision of Second XI coach Tony Frost.

Last year the fact that I was thrown in the deep end, without having much time to think about it, was actually helpful. It was a case of ‘just do it, don’t overthink it’ and do what you do.

Alex Mellor

Mellor will then head for Dubai to link up with the rest of Warwickshire’s squad which arrives there next Saturday for their two-week pre-season stay in the UAE.

It is proving a busy winter for the former Staffordshire player – and good preparation for a new season in which he intends to build on the positive impressions he made in his first-team appearances in 2016.

“I spent four and a half months based just outside Melbourne,” he said. “I wanted to go abroad and work on my skills and was lucky enough to be offered at a place at club and also sort out some coaching which was very beneficial.

“I played for a league representative side at the weekends, a good standard with some good senior players, and also linked up with former Bears keeper Richard Johnson and did a lot of keeping work with him which was great.

“Now it is on to India which will be completely different but I have been really looking forward to it. It’s something that I have never experienced before so I’ll just go with an open mind and enjoy it. Then it will be on to the UAE where it will be great to link back up with the lads again, and then hopefully I will hit the ground running in the new season.”

Mellor’s mission in 2017 is to be ready if and when the first-team call comes, whether that’s through injury to Tim Ambrose or as a specialist batsman. He is one of the options to fill the opening-batsman vacancy created by Varun Chopra’s return to Essex.

“I just want to keep building on my performances and fight for a place,” he said. “Last year the fact that I was thrown in the deep end, without having much time to think about it, was actually helpful. It was a case of ‘just do it, don’t overthink it’ and do what you do.

“I’ve had a really good winter and now I’ve just got to try to keep improving, do the best I can and be ready for the call.”

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