Phil Salt will have one thing on his mind as he returns to the scene of his greatest hits.

And it ISN'T opening the innings for England in the near future.

The Sussex opener was linked with an international call by Ian Botham recently.

It appears the England legend turned Sky Sports expert had been following progress of Salt’s game-changing century in Sussex’s four-day win over dogged Derbyshire.

He might also have heard about the time Salt cleared the Tavern Stand at Lord’s in a Twenty20 match this season.

Sussex are back in St John’s Wood today to start one of the five remaining division two Championship matches which could, they hope, lead to promotion.

Salt will look to add to that 148 off 138 balls which bought time for his county to take the wickets required against Derbyshire.

And that, says coach Jason Gillespie, is all he will be thinking about.

Gillespie told The Argus: “It’s nice of Beefy to speak of a Sussex player like that but Phil is just focussing on the job he has to do, which is to stand there, watch the ball and react to it. Keep it as simple as that.

“Let the commentators talk about different players all they want.

“His focus is just on his game and how he can perform well for Sussex.”

Salt’s tricky spring after Gillespie showed faith and moved him to the top of the order has blossomed into a glorious summer.

The mind goes back to a wet and cold morning in pre-season when The Argus asked Gillespie whether he would make a new signing to replace Chris Nash, who had gone to Nottinghamshire.

Gillespie’s response was that there could be young talent within the ranks who deserved a chance.

Asked now whether he had Salt in mind as he said those words, he replied: “Absolutely. I think he is a very good player, plain and simple.

“Nashy was a fantastic player for Sussex for many years. He saw an opportunity and we wish him well.

“But my thoughts haven’t changed. It does give an opportunity for someone else. Phil was afforded that opportunity at the start of the season.

“After a bit of a slow start, we have shown a lot of faith because we know young players, at times, are going to be inconsistent. At times they are going to fail.

“We are very confident. Phil is a great kid. He puts in 100% effort each and every day in training and into games.

“He works really hard and he is the type of person we want in our dressing room.

“You’ve seen his batting and what he is capable of when he gets it right. He’s a great kid.”

Salt was not especially under coach's orders to get on with it when he went out and took the game to Derbyshire.

But Gillespie has always been aware of his attacking instincts.

He said: “I like players who go out there and show intent but I certainly don’t tell Phil how to play.

“It’s up to him how he goes about his cricket.

“All I say to him is, ‘Watch and the ball and react to it, mate. That’s what your job is’.

“You do that often enough, you spend time out in the middle, you’ll score runs.

“A few lads have been given opportunities. Young Tommy Haines has been given an opportunity, Burge (Michael Burgess) has been given a crack, Harry Finch.

“There is nothing wrong with backing your players.

“You give them your support and you let them play - as long as they are learning. That’s the big thing I say to the boys. We have got to learn from each and every day, each experience.

“Performances are going to be good and indifferent throughout the course of a season.

“You’re not just going to go raucous and score 100 every time you go out to bat.

“But the important thing is when you’ve done well and when you’ve not done so well, what can you take away from that so you’re a better player next time?”

Luke Wright, who has missed the last two Championship matches, comes back into a 13-man squad with Burgess missing out. Delray Rawlins will be called in from 2nd XI action if necessary.