England selector James Whitaker praises Liam Plunkett after recall for Sri Lanka Test
Last Updated: 05/06/14 7:51pm
National selector James Whitaker says Liam Plunkett’s recall to the 12-man Test squad is a reward for his excellent performances during the England Lions' winter trip to Sri Lanka.
Plunkett last played for England seven years ago and, if chosen by coach Peter Moores at Lord’s next Thursday, will be making his 10th Test appearance.
Whittaker also paid tribute to Yorkshire who have helped the 29-year-old former Durham fast bowler rediscover his best form since moving to Headingley in 2012.
England have named three uncapped players in the squad, batsman Sam Robson, bowler Chris Jordan and all-rounder Moeen Ali. The wicketkeeping role goes to Matt Prior ahead of youngster Jos Buttler.
Speaking about England’s dozen named for the first Test which starts on June 12, Whitaker told Sky Sports News: “June 2007 was when Liam last played for England and all credit to him as well as Martyn Moxon and Jason Gillespie at Yorkshire who have helped him to run in and bowl quick.
“He excelled on the Lions tour to Sri Lanka in the winter and is available for Peter to choose in his 11 – if he wishes – next Thursday.
“He’s had some quick spells this season – 90 mph is pretty quick. And his quickest spell was at Lord’s against Middlesex a few weeks ago.”
Regarding the 24-year-old Robson, Whittaker added: “He’s averaging 51 but his winter form was the hallmark of his excellence. There were five hundreds, he’s fit, got a great attitude and congratulations to him.
Sam has all the hallmarks of being the next England opening batter.
“Sam has all the hallmarks of being the next England opening batter.”
As for naming Prior ahead of Buttler as wicketkeeper, Whittaker said: “We’re confident Matt is 100% fit.
“He’s come back gunning to get his place back and we believe he can be part of this core group of senior players who can drive this team forward for the next two or three years. He’s the sort of character we want in this team.
“Jos has done well. He moved to Lancashire to work on his keeping and has played well in the ODIs. He’s one of a number of wicketkeepers who, in the future, will be pushing for a spot.
“Overall, we believe that this group of emerging talent will be very well complimented by the established core of experienced players that have been selected.”