Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Onions Still Not Ready for England; 'Hard Work' Needed to Earn a Recall

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Onions Still Not Ready for England; 'Hard Work' Needed to Earn a Recall

Article excerpt

GRAHAM Onions admits he still has work to do before he is knocking loudly enough on the England door to earn a recall despite another three wickets for Durham yesterday.

Onions was fiery and dangerous on a seam friendly pitch against Yorkshire and is getting back into the sort of form that pushed him on to the Test stage two years ago, but he has no complaints about being ignored against Sri Lanka.

He said: "I think there is a lot of quality fast bowlers out there at the moment and you can only play three in the England side. The guys in there are the three main ones at the moment. I missed out on the first squad and I think I knew then I wouldn't play at all in this series against Sri Lanka.

"That was fine. If I'm being totally honest, would I like to play later on in the summer, I'd love to, but I'm enjoying playing for Durham, competing and bowling well. That's the important thing for me at the moment.

"International cricket is an unforgiving environment. If you're not quite ready, if you're not bowling as well as you can, you are going to be punished.

"You've got to be at the top of your game and I wasn't there at the start of the summer. I want to play, I want to get back in the England side, but at the moment I've still got a bit of hard work to do to get there.

"I'll do as much as I can to get back in there. It's my dream to play for England and it's my overall goal really, but the only way I'm going to do that is by taking wickets for Durham.

"I'm enjoying himself. When you've been out for a long time there are periods when you are very frustrated, so it's important you enjoy your cricket, especially when you get a nice wicket to bowl on.

"I'm not renowned for smiling on the cricket pitch, but that's part of my personality.

When I'm competing, I've got a job to do and I'm fiery. But I'm enjoying it, I'm bowling well and with pace."

In Onions' absence, England enjoy an outside chance of victory in the Third Test at the Rose Bowl, Ian Bell registering a third hundred in his last five Test innings yesterday. Bell (119no) unfurled another collection of his world-class shots in England's 377 for eight declared.

Sri Lanka replied with 112 for three at stumps, still 81 short of making England bat again, and therefore may need some help from more forecast bad weather on the final day to avoid losing this series 2-0. To Stuart Law, Bell is simply a "pain in the backside". From the plain-speaking Australian Sri Lanka coach, that's rich praise indeed.

"He's a pain in the backside, to be honest with you - the way he plays, and he keeps it very simple," said Law after Bell shared a century stand with Eion Morgan (71) as England pressed home their advantage in this rain-ravaged match.

"He scores quickly but hits the ball in 360-degree arcs. …

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