Liam Plunkett admits he has rediscovered his enjoyment of cricket following his impressive return to the international arena for England.
The Yorkshire paceman was handed a recall to the Test side for the two-match series against Sri Lanka last month after an excellent start to the season in the County Championship.
The 29-year-old claimed only two wickets at Lord’s in his first Test appearance for seven years, but his sustained pace and aggression caused problems for the Sri Lanka batsmen.
Plunkett retained his place for the second Test on his home ground at Headingley, and he rewarded the faith of the selectors with a superb haul of nine wickets.
The former Durham fast bowler collected career-best figures of 5-64 in Sri Lanka’s first innings, although his performance could not prevent England suffering a last-gasp defeat from the penultimate ball of the series.
But Plunkett is relishing being back in the England set-up and is looking forward to taking on India when the five-Test series gets underway at Trent Bridge next week.
“It was nice to prove to people I could perform at Test level and take some valuable wickets,” Plunkett told the England and Wales Cricket Board official website.
“It’s given me some confidence and taken a bit of pressure off and hopefully I can just continue now and enjoy the cricket that’s ahead.”
“I think I’ve just grown and matured a lot as a player. I think when you’re younger maybe things come natural and you take things for granted.
“I’ve learnt a lot the last four, five years. I’ve taken that on board and I just feel I’m more consistent as a cricketer and at this moment in time I just want the ball in my hand, bat in my hand. I'm just enjoying the game again.”