Matt Parkinson insists he is not too concerned about criticism of his early England career as he looks to make his mark in Sri Lanka.

Heaton’s Lancashire leg spinner is gearing up for his third stop in a winter that has included stints in New Zealand and South Africa.

The 23-year-old featured in T20s against the Kiwis, taking five wickets, but found it tougher going against the Proteas.

The former Bolton School pupil struggled in a three-day warm-up game and then did not take a wicket in the one-day internationals, pundits pointing to the slow pace of his bowling as a potential issue at the top level.

Parkinson is backing himself though as he heads to Sri Lanka as one of three spinners in the squad alongside Jack Leach, who is struggling with a calf problem, and Dom Bess, who overtook the Red Rose star in the pecking order despite only being a late addition to the squad in South Africa.

“You say you don’t read it (the criticism), but I think most people do,” he told ESPN Cricinfo.

“It probably got me down a little bit, more than I thought it would. But I tried to take it with a pinch of salt.

“Obviously there’s areas to improve for every cricketer, but I think you’re (in the England team) for a reason. Those things that people are picking up on as negatives, I might see as positives.

“The higher level you go, you need to keep on improving, and I might need to bowl quicker, might need to add a few more variations. But the way I bowl has got me there, so I’ll trust it. If it doesn’t work over a decent period of time, then you can reassess, but being written off after a game is a bit harsh.

“I’m only 23 years old, and spinners generally mature a little bit later.

“We might be having a conversation in four years’ time, and people might be saying I’m bowling too quickly, so I’m not too worried at the moment.

“I’m just going to keep trying to improve – if that improvement is bowling two or three mile per hour quicker then that’s great.”

Parkinson is one of only three players, alongside Joe Denly and Sam Curran, to have been named in all six winter England squads this winter.

And after a whirlwind start at international level, he is looking at the bigger picture.

“Obviously you have your tough moments in hotel rooms but you sometimes get lost in rubbish, really,” he said.

“If you actually realise where you are, what you’re doing, who you’re playing for, then those moments in hotel rooms become moments that you cherish.

“You don’t know how long your England career is going to be.

“The mindset that I’ve tried to go with is to try and enjoy it, enjoy every moment of every single tour that I’ve managed to be selected on.

“If the performances come then brilliant, but if not then I’d like to think that I’ve tried my best.”

The two-Test series starts at Galle on March 19 before moving onto the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo eight days later.

Joe Root’s men have both a three-day and four-day warm-up game, the first starting against an SLC Board President’s XI on Saturday.