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Poysden backs former teammate Stone to shine for England

— 1 November 2018

Josh Poysden has highlighted Olly Stone’s mental strength as a key reason why his former Warwickshire team-mate stands on the verge of a successful international career with England.

Fast bowler Stone is in contention to make his Test debut in Tuesday’s clash with Sri Lanka in Galle.

It is the first of a three-match series.

Stone took one wicket in four one-day internationals against the same opponents over recent weeks, with his debut proving his standout spell as he returned 1-23 from six hostile overs.

The 25-year-old’s extra pace has long been talked about, and it is something which has attracted the attention of the England selectors.

It is far from certain he will debut at Galle, with spin expected to dominate the series.

But if and when he does play, former Bear Poysden has high hopes for a player who has had to battle back from a snapped anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, suffered in July 2016 whilst celebrating a wicket playing for Northamptonshire.

During the most recent summer, Stone claimed 43 wickets in seven Championship matches for Division Two champions Warwickshire at a remarkable average of 12.20.

“Olly’s record this year was unbelievable,” said leg-spinner Poysden, who joined Yorkshire in August.

“I know it’s in Division Two, but you can only perform against what’s in front of you. His stats were impressive, especially things like strike rate.

  • “With Olly, since that injury, he’s had a pretty tough time. But the character he’s shown to come back has been amazing.

    “I always found it really impressive with Olly that after long periods out of the game, he’d always come back in and be straight on it. There was no easing in.

    “That’s testament to the rehab he did.

    “The character he showed through that was outstanding.

    “He’s bowled quick and he’s swung the ball. He’s also been smart with how he uses his bumper and things like that. Also, he’s just a brilliant lad.

    “I don’t know if he will get a go. Hopefully he does, and I hope he does really well.

    “You look at a lot of selections, and it’s as much about how they perform under pressure as anything else, how they adjust to different environments and conditions.

    “He bowled really well on his England debut the other week.

    “The whole of his first over was spot on, and I got the feeling he was even quicker with a bit of adrenaline. You’d like to think he will do the same when he gets the red ball in his hand.”

    England have only won one Test series in Asia – India in 2012/13 – since 2010, and Sri Lanka beat South Africa 2-0 at home in July.

    “Any team that tours Asia finds it quite difficult. So if England can go out there and get a result, it would be a really good effort,” said Poysden, who toured Sri Lanka with the Lions in early 2017.

    “It’s going to be really exciting to see how they go.

    “There’s a few new faces around. The top three may well be Burns, Jennings, Denly.

    “In Burns and Denly, they have been strong performers in county cricket. Denly’s bowling gives England something extra to help balance the team out.

    “Denly was the PCA’s Most Value Player, which is an award you don’t easily get. Burns has scored runs consistently for the last few years and captained Surrey superbly. Winning the Championship was a massive achievement for him.

    “Even if you look down the rest of the squad, guys like Jack Leach deserve their go. It’s nice to see players who’ve done well in county cricket get their rewards.

    “England have played some outstanding cricket in the one-dayers, and they look to be in good nick having just had the warm-up game over the last few days.

    “It was great to see Joe Root get a hundred, and hopefully Jonny will be fit soon and Rash can have a good series and contribute to a series win.

  • Joe Root and Adil Rashid in action during the first warm up game.
  • “But Sri Lanka have some really good players, especially in their own conditions.

    “The wickets will suit them, and rightly so. Using your home conditions is what Test cricket’s about.

    “Rangana Herath is retiring after the first Test, and he’s a superb bowler.

    “I’ve played a bit against (Malinda) Pushpakumara, who is a good left-arm spinner with a lot of first-class experience. It will be hard for him to match Herath, but it will still be a challenge against him.”

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