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Onions gets under the skin

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Graham Onions

Graham Onions has been in the England selectors' thoughts for a while © Getty Images

Owais Shah has backed Durham seamer Graham Onions to break into the England fold after his impressive bowling performance for MCC.

Onions tore through the Sussex lower order on day three of the four-day game at Lord’s, producing a stunning spell of three wickets for four runs in 13 balls.

He was named in England’s provisional 30-man squad for the ICC Champions Trophy last year, and Shah – whose unbeaten 87 helped MCC to a 266-run lead on day three – believes it is only a matter of time before he makes the next step.

“Graham Onions has bags of potential, and I am very big fan of him,” said Middlesex batsman Shah, capped once at Test level and 18 times at one-day international level by England.

“He is aggressive at the batsman, he wants wickets and he is clever. He always changes the pace on the ball.

“He is definitely one for the future, and he bowled magnificently yesterday (Sunday).

“Is he a player who could break into the England team? I definitely think so.

“He has good pace, bowls it in good areas and doesn’t give you much as a batsman.”

Shah scored 88 and 38 on his only Test appearance against India at Mumbai in March 2006, but England coach Duncan Fletcher has so far resisted the temptation to recall him.

Shah hinted that he may need to develop other areas of his game, particularly his off-spin bowling, in order to force his way back into the international reckoning.

He said: “It is a difficult situation, but all I can control is getting runs for Middlesex.

“I have tried to improve my fielding, and I have, while I will try to bowl a little bit.

“I don’t control the decision to select me or otherwise. I don’t want anyone to say ‘he can’t do this’ or ‘he can’t do that’.

“I have been trying to cover the three basics in cricket, and working hard on it this winter.”

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