Graham Onions: I'm good enough for Test recall
'England can't keep ignoring me,' says Durham seamer ahead of summer
By Graeme Mair
Last Updated: 01/04/14 5:04pm
Graham Onions has moved on from his Ashes tour snub and is optimistic a strong start to the county season will finally earn him another Test chance.
Seam bowler Onions' 70 wickets last season powered Durham to their third County Championship title in six seasons.
But being the leading wicket taker in the country was not enough to get him a place in the 17-man England squad to visit Australia.
The management's preference for tall fast bowlers ensured Steven Finn, Chris Tremlett and Boyd Rankin - all at least four inches taller than 6ft 2in Onions - were preferred despite far less impressive county returns.
The plan backfired somewhat, the tour unravelling as Australia regained the Ashes with a 5-0 whitewash. Finn, Tremlett and Rankin made only two appearances between them in the series, while Onions spent his winter playing in South Africa and then joined up with the second-string England Lions in Sri Lanka.
Onions' most recent Test chance came against West Indies two summers ago, the only one of his nine caps to have been earned after career-saving back surgery in 2010.
Since making his comeback the following year, the 31-year-old has been a consistent match winner for Durham with 184 wickets in 35 championship games over the last three seasons.
"The bottom line is they wanted guys (in Australia) that are taller and, unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about that - I can't grow," said Onions of England's recent selection policy at Durham's pre-season media day.
"If England wanted me in Australia, they would have taken me and it was a massive disappointment for me that they didn't.
"My performances over the last four years have been of a high enough standard to get picked by England. But the captain and coach pick the team, I have to respect that and move on.
I believe that I'm good enough to play for England. As long as my performances on the county circuit are good then I'm a believer they can't keep ignoring me.
"It's taken a while to move on. The reason why I was so disappointed is because I want to play for England so badly.
"I'm still a strong believer that you train, put in performances and play as well as you possibly can to progress your game and play for England.
"I'll do that again this year and, fingers crossed, I'll be in for that first Test match against Sri Lanka (in May). If not, then I'll keep on improving and be out there for Durham trying my hardest to win the championship again.
"I believe that I'm good enough to play for England. As long as my performances on the county circuit are good then I'm a believer they can't keep ignoring me."
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