Sidebottom targets Ashes place
Ryan Sidebottom is hoping to win back his place in England's Test team ahead of the Ashes.
Last Updated: 20/05/09 6:29pm
Ryan Sidebottom is hoping to win back his Test place ahead of the Ashes.
The Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer is part of England's one-day squad for the three-match series against West Indies, starting at Headingley on Thursday.
He has recently returned to peak fitness following a horrendous nine-month spell of injuries.
The 31-year-old broke down in the penultimate Test of the series defeat to South Africa at Edgbaston last August and has played only two international matches since because of a plethora of fitness problems.
Both of those came in the Caribbean, a tour which he was forced to abort due to his latest trouble - a chronic Achilles - and subsequently spent time in rehabilitation rather than in pre-season nets.
"It has been months of frustration not playing regular cricket but I have just gone back to Nottinghamshire and addressed the old clich of working hard on fitness," said Sidebottom.
"England have got a settled team at the minute and I will make no bones about it, I will have to fight hard to prove I am worth a selection.
"It's always in the back of your mind - am I ever going to get back in the side? - and I've seen guys come in and do really well so I've lost my place as it were.
"Everybody wants to play for England. I have a decent record in all forms of the game and I am desperate to play.
"I am very jealous of them - I want to take wickets for England again and would love to play in the Ashes.
"I am here and back in the England fold, which is exciting, and if I can push the guys who are in form and doing well then I am doing my job and that's all I can do."
With Graham Onions emerging as an Ashes contender with 10 wickets in two Tests against West Indies and Andrew Flintoff expected to be fit for the summer's main event, however, England have options in formulating their attack.
And they are aware of the need to target the Australians with aggression, just as they did during the successful 2005 campaign.
"You need to be aggressive, especially against Australia, like we showed in 2005," Sidebottom added. "The guys bowled fantastically well with all their variations, swing, pace and bounce and then reverse swing.
"I'm lucky that I am left arm which is variety and I do swing the ball a bit and if that is needed, that variation in attack, then that would be great.
"I'm not getting any younger. I've played against one or two of the guys and they have all had experience of playing over here so I think it will be an intriguing series.
"If England play well heading up to that then there is no reason why we can't do well in it."