Rain might have thwarted England’s hopes of taking a 2-0 lead in the five-match ODI series, but there was some good news in store for English pacer Liam Plunkett.
Plunkett, who was recalled in the World T20 squad after fellow pacer Steven Finn picked up a calf injury, claimed his 50th wicket at international level- 11 years after making his debut. His first victim was Pakistan’s Mohammad Yousuf when the right-arm pacer struck on his debut in Karachi in 2005.
After getting ignored for the South Africa tour, Plunkett was included in the World T20 squad. Since then he has impressed one and all with his consistent performances and once again he showed his ability to take wickets by taking 3 for 46 in his 10 overs on a pitch which was looking good for batting.
“I felt I went really well in the World T20. I was involved in Dubai [against Pakistan] then not in South Africa so you don’t know if they will keep the same team, but a few injuries came along. It was nice to get the nod, they liked what they saw in the T20 and they have backed me in this format. You have the clarity to run up and hit the pitch and that’s what I do.
English coach Trevor Bayliss asked him to work on his variations when the pacer asked him the reason for not including him in the squad for the South Africa tour. However, the bowler said that he is still relying on pace to get the job done.
“I got told in the winter that you have to work on some other things – slower balls and stuff – but for me, I feel I’m best when I’m smacking the pitch and let the batsmen hit from there. I feel I’m more consistent now, my pace is up and I can hit a consistent area. It’s not like I’m wild and erratic, I feel I can control it.”
Plunkett, who has represented England in 13 tests, is still hopeful of reviving his Test career. The pacer last played a Test against India at Lord’s in 2014.
“I’ll still want to play Test cricket when I’m 38 but it is what it is. I’ve been around for a while now, I don’t really think too much about the future, just about the next game and doing well,” he said.
“I feel if I start drifting off and think about other teams that go against me. I’m in a good place now and we’ll see what comes along. I want to cement my place in this team and still push for a Test spot.”