Liam Plunkett feels he warrants an immediate return to England’s ODI side after joining up with the squad in Sri Lanka following his wedding.
Seamer Plunkett missed the first three matches of the five-game contest but is now hoping to figure in Saturday’s fourth fixture in Kandy, where England will be looking to secure a series win.
Olly Stone has impressed with his pace and bounce in the 33-year-old’s absence, while Tom Curran picked up 3-17 in Wednesday’s third encounter – but Plunkett has been a key part of England’s rise in white-ball cricket, taking 75 wickets in 44 ODIs since the 2015 World Cup.
“I feel like a senior player,” Plunkett told Sky Sports’ Rob Key at training on Friday.
“I like to speak to the guys who have just come in and hopefully I can help them out. But, at the end of the day I still want my place back and I feel I deserve to be playing.
“The first day I got here I had a little bowl out in the middle but I did a lot of preparation when I was away – I tried to bowl 40, 45 overs a week so I feel in a good place. It’s just getting used to the weather and conditions.
“I have played so much cricket, been on so many tours in the past, so I am just preparing myself to play.”
On what job he expects to perform if selected, Plunkett said: “I think I will get the first-change bowler role [but] it’s about consistency.
“When I first got in the team it was all about express pace but I feel I have got better and better. When my speed is down I still have the capability of putting the ball in the tight spot and mixing up my variations.”
Plunkett’s wedding was arranged before the one-day and Test legs of England’s tour of Sri Lanka were switched around – but the paceman insists he did not consider rescheduling.
“We were so far into the wedding preparation – a lot of people had booked flights and I wasn’t interested in paying them back!” Plunkett told reporters. “I spoke to Morgs [England captain Eoin Morgan] and he encouraged me to go ahead with it.
“In the back of your mind you know someone will come in and do well, but that’s just sport. It’s good for the team that people come in and do well.
“Hopefully I get the nod and play one or two games here but if not I’ll hopefully get a go again. If I don’t get the nudge I will graft hard.
“People forget for the first seven years of my England career, I didn’t play much, I was 12th man or 13th man the whole time.
“I know how to deal with the situation.” (Courtesy Sky Sports)