Ashes selection would be a dream, says Plunkett

Liam Plunkett is hoping to get the nod for the fourth Test against Australia at Trent Bridge.
Liam Plunkett is hoping to get the nod for the fourth Test against Australia at Trent Bridge.
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LIAM PLUNKETT admitted he would fulfil a lifelong ambition if he is chosen for the fourth Test against Australia at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Plunkett has been named in a 14-man squad as England chase the victory that would see them regain the Ashes.

The 30-year-old pace bowler is one of five Yorkshiremen in the party along with vice-captain Joe Root, batsmen Adam Lyth and Jonny Bairstow, and leg-spinner Adil Rashid.

Plunkett has been drafted in along with Derbyshire pace bowler Mark Footitt due to the side injury to James Anderson that will see him miss the Trent Bridge Test and possibly the last Test at The Oval, and amid concerns over the fitness of fellow pace bowler Mark Wood.

Plunkett took to Twitter to convey his pleasure at his call-up.

“Really happy to be part of the Ashes squad for the fourth Test,” he wrote. “Still a childhood dream to play in an Ashes Test.”

Whether Plunkett plays in Nottingham is open to question.

Wood missed the third Test at Edgbaston with an ankle injury, but England are hopeful the Durham man will be fit to play.

“The reports on Wood are positive at this stage, and we are hopeful he’ll be available for selection on Thursday,” said national selector James Whitaker. “With James Anderson missing and some concerns over Mark Wood’s workload in the build-up to the last Test, we felt that bringing in two extra bowlers in Liam Plunkett and Mark Footitt was necessary.”

Plunkett played the last of his 13 Tests against India at Lord’s in July last year. He missed the rest of the summer with an ankle injury and did not return to action until the England A tour of South Africa last winter.

Plunkett played for England in one-day series against New Zealand, and he has made two County Championship appearances for Yorkshire this season, taking five wickets at 37.60.

His chances of a Test recall, however, were not helped by the outstanding display of fellow fast bowler Steven Finn, who took eight wickets at Edgbaston.

England fourth Test squad: Cook (capt), Ali, Bairstow, Bell, Broad, Buttler, Finn, Footitt, Lyth, Plunkett, Rashid, Root, Stokes, Wood.