By Callum Dent
Yorkshire paceman Liam Plunkett believes he is better equipped for a second assault on Test cricket.
Having not represented his country at Test level since 2007, the 29-year-old has been handed the opportunity to add to his nine caps after being named in England’s 12-man squad for next week’s Investec Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s, following a fine start to the season in which he has taken 24 wickets in seven matches.
Plunkett’s seven-year exile from the Test arena, where he has snared 23 scalps, has given him time to reflect and improve as a person and a cricketer.
“I have learnt a lot about myself, a lot more about my game,” he told ecb.co.uk.
“I want to play. I’m obviously in the 12, but I would love to play. I want to do exactly what I have been doing for Yorkshire. Be aggressive and play the type of cricket I have been playing.
“You learn year by year. When I was at Durham and not playing, you spiral down. You appreciate when you do play. I have learnt a lot and I am excited to get the chance.
“People have been getting runs and wickets in county cricket and have been rewarded for it. It is a good thing. I am excited for the challenge.”
Plunkett has been given a new lease of life following his switch from home county Durham to Yorkshire two years ago, reinforcing his reputation as an aggressive all-rounder with a number of impressive performances under the guidance of Tykes coach Jason Gillespie.
“I left Durham and once I came to Yorkshire the coaches were a massive help,” Plunkett, an England Lion last winter, said.
“They were one of the first teams that came in for me when I wanted to leave Durham. They showed faith and have been great with me. I am enjoying every minute of it.
Congrats brother @Liam628 !! Massively well deserved! Bowling heat taking poles and sconing helmets! Paradise Towers had a profound effect!
— Jacky Brooks (@BrooksyFerret) June 5, 2014
“When you have got the coaches and captain on the same page as you, they know your game and know you want to show some intent.
“Sometimes if you do make a mistake, you know the next game you will perform. And that has what it has been with bat and ball, having a game plan and sticking with it.”
Deemed one of the fastest bowlers in the country this term, producing a number of quick spells, Plunkett - also an improving lower-order batsman - is hoping to replicate his county displays in the longest format.
He added: “I enjoy bowling quickly and hitting boundaries. It depends what the game needs. I do bowl my best when I run in and bowl quickly.
“I can bowl all day as well, it’s not as if I can only bowl two or three overs, I can bowl long spells as well.”