Strauss declares Plunkett anonymity over

England

Former England captain Andrew Strauss is looking forward to the resurgence of fast bowler Liam Plunkett's international career.

Former England captain Andrew Strauss is looking forward to the resurgence of fast bowler Liam Plunkett's international career.

Plunkett has not played Test match cricket since 2007, but has been recalled to a strong 12-man squad for next week's series opener against Sri Lanka at Lord's in London.

The right-arm seamer has cherished a fine stretch of form at first-class level this season, snaring two dozen Division One wickets in seven fixtures at the solid average of 24.83.

"Liam was always incredibly talented and came in to international cricket with a bit of bang and showed that he could get the best players in the world out, but he kind of suffered a crisis of confidence and went away to county cricket and became anonymous," Strauss told <i>Sky Sports</i>.

"It has taken him a long time to get back to this sort of level. If you speak to anyone who has played against him recently they say he's bowling with good gas; he gets the ball swinging and against Sri Lanka in particularly you need someone who can bowl it up near 90 miles per hour.

"You want to be able to bowl the short ball at them, generally they struggle when you bowl the short ball at them in these conditions and the swinging ball which is what Liam is very good at.

"I think it's a good selection, we won't know for sure until we see him out in a an international as to how he's recovered from the scars he had many years ago – but that was a long time ago and I expect he'll come in and do well."

The hosts have not selected a specialist spinner, relying instead on the all-rounders Joe Root and Moeen Ali's ability with the ball. While neither player is likely to find much turn at Lord's, conditions at the venue for the second Test – Headingley in Leeds – might prove beneficial.

"Early season in England, maybe we don't need an out and out spinner – Moeen and Joe can do a job. But I think later on the summer and in the next 18 months or so, England have got to identify a match-winning spinner," added Strauss.

"At the moment they're pretty thin on the ground, which is why the selectors have opted for the kind of part-time spinners, but long-term that just doesn't work. Over the next couple of months they've got to identify someone and give him some match practice."

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