Plunkett gets 'adrenalin rush' from bowling fast

England

England fast bowler Liam Plunkett has been compared with Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson, both for his scary pace and for making a comeback after being sidelined, and the Yorkshire man is pleased with the comparison.

England fast bowler Liam Plunkett has been compared with Australia paceman Mitchell Johnson, both for his scary pace and for making a comeback after being sidelined, and the Yorkshire man is pleased with the comparison.

Plunkett spent seven years in the England wilderness only to discover blistering form last season, prompting a recall for the first time since 2007. His comeback series was a success personally, as he took nine wickets in the second Test against Sri Lanka.

While England lost the series, Plunkett was pleased with his comeback, saying he enjoyed being one of the rare fast bowlers who could bowl at 150kp/h consistently, and he enjoyed the rush of scaring batsmen.

Plunkett told <i>Standard Sport</i>: "Johnson did well in the Ashes, bowling quickly and aggressively, and bowlers like that don't come around very often. You want to intimidate people.

"Ideally, I'd rather bowl five balls and get five wickets but [bowling quickly] is part and parcel of my game. If I can intimidate people it gives me a better chance of getting them out.

"I get a huge adrenaline rush from it, and when I'm doing that I feel I'm at my best, causing havoc for everyone, helping other bowlers get wickets.

"There are not many people who bowl 90mph and above, so if you're in good rhythm and you're doing that, you want batsmen hopping around.

"When I bowl quickly I bowl straighter and the coaches want me to put doubt in the batsmen's minds. If I can be aggressive from one end, it can help bowlers take wickets from the other.

"Alastair Cook has been brilliant. When I came back it felt like I was still part of a county side, in terms of the way he spoke to me and the way he backed me. I bowled well at Headingley and that was because I felt so comfortable.

"When I was younger and in the team with people like Andrew Flintoff, Kevin Pietersen and Steve Harmison, I was a bit more timid. But now I feel like I belong. Everyone is encouraged to speak his mind and it feels as though everyone is backing each other."

Plunkett got his first England call-up barely out of his teens, and then went seven years without another one after just nine Tests. He now feels that he was too young and immature for the big stage, and has learned from it.

He said: "When you're 21, cricket defines you as a person, but it shouldn't. Cricket is your job but I forgot about that. When I went home after a bad day, it was all about cricket and that can change your mood.

"But you don't have to take cricket with you. As in any job, people go through good and bad times, and doing things like playing for Durham seconds has made me appreciate the small things.

"A career goes so quickly that I just want to play for the fun of it. The most successful sportspeople know how to put the job to the back of their minds.

"Look at Roger Federer; he just seems to be able to switch off and be so relaxed. To be that successful, you need to find a way of coping."

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