Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plunkett Praise

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plunkett Praise

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Paul Collingwood has praised Durham team-mate Liam Plunkett for transforming himself from Ashes outcast to potential World Cup star, writes Stuart Rayner.

Despite being named in England's squad, the Teessider failed to play in this winter's Test series in Australia and looked set for a similar fate in the 50-over format when left out of the first four matches.

Injury to Jon Lewis gave the 21-year-old his chance, however, and the two are now competing for a place in Friday's World Cup opener against New Zealand.

Alongside Andrew Flintoff, Plunkett (pictured below) was England's joint leading wicket-taker in the Commonwealth Bank Series, but his ability to swing the white ball was as impressive as his 12 wickets.

Having been the odd man out in previous England touring parties, Collingwood was impressed by the perseverance and quality Plunkett showed while awaiting his chance.

"He didn't get a sniff in the Tests but, all that time, he was the best bowler in the nets," said all-rounder Collingwood. …

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