DOM Bess is hoping to build on the platform he has set himself after a progressive year in Test cricket with England.

Yorkshire’s new off-spinning all-rounder played in eight of the nine Tests played by Joe Root’s side in 2020, whilst no other specialist spinner played a game.

Bess claimed 16 wickets and scored 121 runs, with a best of 5-51 in the third Test of four at Port Elizabeth in South Africa in January.

The 23-year-old contributed to a trio of series wins - away in South Africa and at home against West Indies and Pakistan.

Bess has now received an expected call-up for a two-Test tour to Sri Lanka in the New Year (Tests played between January 14-26), alongside county colleagues Root and the returning Jonny Bairstow.

There is then a four-match series against India on the sub-continent, played between February 5 and March 8.

“It’s a big winter. Sri Lanka, playing India away as well,” said the ex-Somerset man, who recently signed a four-year contract to move to Emerald Headingley.

“It will be a big statement if I go well out there and will show the hard work I’m putting in is really paying off.

“There will be some tough times out there because I will hopefully be playing against some of the world’s best players in their home conditions.

“But I’m 23, and it can only make me better.

“You have to play a lot of cricket to be a smart spinner. And I think I’m on my way there. I just have to get those experiences under my belt.”

Bess has played 10 Tests in all for England, the first two of which came in the home summer of 2018 against Pakistan, including an appearance at his new home ground in Leeds.

But this year has seen a real breakthrough for a player who had two short loan spells with Yorkshire midway through 2019.

“Reflecting on it now, it’s been a great launchpad and has only made me strive more to go away this winter and perform for the team,” he said.

“It’s all about the team. I’m a big believer in that. How can you best help the side?

“For me, that’s with ball, bat and in the field.

“There are still things which could have gone better, but it’s not a perfect world. Overall, it’s been a positive year.

“I have contributed for England this year. I took a five-for in South Africa, with us coming back from losing the first Test to win that series. We then won both summer series, and being involved in those was a really good thing for me to be a part of.

“Also, it was important for me to learn how to bowl on English pitches at that level.

“There wasn’t a great deal of cricket played, so the pitches we played on were quite fresh.

“You would say that was my first experience of consistently being a number one spinner, not only for your county but country.

“There were times when I really learnt a lot.

“I also contributed. Not in a massive capacity, but I chipped in and was really proud of that.

“The thing now is when I do get the chance with the ball, how can I take it and be more threatening, how can I create more opportunities?

“There were opportunities I missed during the summer, but that’s cricket. It’s now about me understanding that and learning from it.”

Bess is currently in the midst of a busy time, both personally and professionally.

Personally, he is going through a house move up north from Taunton. Professionally, he is training hard to be ready for what looks set to be a jam-packed start to 2021.

His current locality in Taunton means he is yet to link up with Yorkshire’s senior squad, who have begun their winter training schedule.

He added: “I’m down in Taunton trying to sort my house and get it on the market, and trying to sort a new house is challenging with everything that’s going on with Covid.

“On top of that, being down in the South West means I can’t train with the lads at Yorkshire.

“With England tours approaching, I’ve had to make sure that my training is really focused. It’s actually been a nice break from all the other busy stuff going on.

“I’ve been training at Loughborough (England’s National Performance Centre).

“Because I’ve got a very good mentor in Richard Dawson at Gloucestershire, I’ve been using him as well. That’s also been really good for me.”