Olly Stone: England fast bowler targets place in exciting Test side

Olly Stone
Olly Stone took 4-85 in a one-day game against Australia in Melbourne last month

Fast bowler Olly Stone is eager to get back in contention for an England Test place because of the brand of cricket played by Ben Stokes' side.

The 29-year-old has taken 10 wickets in three Tests, the most recent against New Zealand in June 2021.

But he subsequently had surgery on his back and a year ago was worried about his future in the red-ball game.

"I have mentioned to Stokesy how much I want to play Test cricket again," Stone told BBC Radio Norfolk.

"The way England played that Test match (in Pakistan) made me even more determined to get back in that side and be a part of the way they are going about their cricket."

England's 74-run win in Rawalpindi was all the more remarkable because it was achieved on a lifeless wicket offering little for the bowlers.

Despite that, seamers James Anderson and Ollie Robinson shared eight wickets between them on the final day as the team continued their run of success since Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum took charge of the team.

"Everyone spoke about how docile the pitch was and the way England came out in that final innings and went for the bouncer tactic first, I think it surprised a few people and it surprised Pakistan.

"The way they're going about their cricket at the moment, they're not afraid to try anything to get that win. That no fear attitude and never give up mentality got them over the line," said Norwich-born Stone, who, like Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, is capable of consistently bowling at over 90mph.

"You get people coming along with you on that journey, they want to be part of it and will do anything, whether it's going out and trying to hit six sixes which it looked like some of the batters were doing, or someone like Ollie Robinson who's not used to bowling bouncers but had to do that tactic for the team and came out on top."

Stone played two one-day internationals in Australia in November followed by a spell in the United Arab Emirates T10 competition.

He is due to turn out for MI Cape Town in South Africa's T20 tournament in the new year and intends to put his name in the draft for the Pakistan Super League in February and March, but those commitments are dependent on any involvement with England.

"The aim now is to be available for as much international cricket as possible," he added.

"I'm in South Africa for the start of their new T20 competition in early January, so hopefully I'll get the nod for the 50-over (one-day) games in the middle of that and then there's two Tests in New Zealand or another white-ball tour of Bangladesh.

He added: "Going round the world bowling in different conditions helps you go forward. If not I'll come back and get ready for that first Championship game (for Nottinghamshire) and hopefully put my name in the mix for the Ashes next summer."

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