Graham Onions still pushing hard for England place
Fast bowler Graham Onions is determined to keep "knocking on the door" for a place in England's Ashes side.
Last Updated: 27/07/13 2:58pm
The Durham seamer was in the 13-man squad for the opening two Tests against Australia but is yet to feature with Steven Finn and Tim Bresnan preferred at Trent Bridge and Lord's respectively as England moved 2-0 up in the series.
Onions conceded it is not easy being included in the squad and missing out but paid homage to his team-mates who have excelled thus far.
"You prepare in every squad as if you are going to play in the Test, of course it is bitterly disappointing to be so close and miss out but I would certainly rather be in the squad than not," the 30-year-old told Sky Sports News.
"I knew after the winter in New Zealand I had to come back for Durham and take wickets. Obviously it is a very hard team to break into at the minute.
"Of course you would rather play but it is up to me and Tim Bresnan to perform as well as we possibly can to put the guys in there under pressure.
"Credit to Tim Bresnan for performing well at Yorkshire, he played in that second Test and did really well."
Despite missing out on selection when Finn was dropped after the first Test, Onions understands he must continue to work hard if he is to break into a bowling attack which he believes to be world class.
"You have to keep knocking on the door; you have to feel as though you're doing well in the nets. The England set-up now is a very close knit family and they push each other all the way. It is up to people like myself to push the guys as far as I possibly can and that for English cricket is hugely important," he said.
"Steven Finn is a young guy who has played quite a lot of games now, he has fantastic attributes that can help England win cricket matches. The England selectors kept him in the squad but made the big decision to pick Tim Bresnan.
"James Anderson commands the attack, he is the guy everyone looks up to and his performances over a long period have time have been fantastic. He has won a lot of games for England and to push someone of his ability is going to be very hard to do, he is a world-class performer."
With the squad announced on Sunday for the third Test match in Durham, there are doubts about the participation of Kevin Pietersen due to a calf injury and Onions believes Nottinghamshire's James Taylor should be given the chance.
"When Kevin got injured we didn't know how bad it was, it looked a little innocuous at the time, he didn't seem to be in too much pain," he added.
"James Taylor, this year, has been a huge run scorer. England asked him to score well and perform for his county and he has done that.
"This game against Sussex is a fantastic opportunity for the Australian batters to try and perform well but also for the England selectors to look at James Taylor.
"Whether or not they are going to be the same quality as Kevin Pietersen we don't know, but James Taylor has performed well for Nottinghamshire and deserves the chance to play."
While admitting the squad have their heads down preparing for Thursday at Old Trafford, Onions did not rule out thoughts of a series whitewash.
"The next Test match is what is on our minds but of course it would be silly not to think about 5-0 at all," he said.
"After the days when Australia used to beat us 5-0 and it was tough, now England are dominating and we have guys who are in form but it would be foolish to think too far ahead."