James is arguably favourite, given his prior experience, but 26-year-old Kirkland is determined to add to his one cap.
"I am sure Mr Capello has his own ideas - but I'll enjoy it, train well and hope to impress. That's all I can do," said Kirkland, after keeping a clean sheet to help Wigan to a Barclays Premier League win at home to West Ham on Saturday.
"But deep down I hope I get the nod, and if I do it will be a great boost for me. I'm not aiming to be there just to make up the numbers.
"He's obviously been at a few games, and that has been good. It's going to be a different set-up, and I'm looking forward to see how he works.
"I'm sure he'll sit down and have a meeting with the squad, and he will say what he wants and expects."
Capello's call to arms, though, was a surprise to Kirkland - who concedes that when it came to England he had "forgotten about it."
"I just wanted to concentrate on playing a full season for Wigan," he added.
"I've always wanted to make sure we do well, that we stay up - and I'd have taken that. But this has come as a welcome tonic for me."