Olly Stone is relishing another chance to “bash down the door” of England’s one-day team after waiting more than two years since his last appearance.
The paceman’s career was riding a steep upward trajectory in the winter of 2018 when he opened his international account by dismissing Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella in Dambulla with a steepling bouncer that reared off a previously tame pitch.
But injuries have halted his progress, with two stress fractures, a side strain and a niggling hamstring restricting him to a solitary cap since – a Test debut against Ireland.
The 27-year-old Warwickshire quick is back in the hunt, winning a place on England’s tour of South Africa with a strong showing in the Vitality Blast. He bowled an encouraging spell in the warm-up match between Team Morgan and Team Buttler, getting through six overs at a brisk pace and claiming a caught and bowled to see off Tom Curran.
Stone has not been selected for the Twenty20 series but is in contention for the ODI leg and is eager to impress when the squad go head-to-head again in Paarl on Monday in a T20.
“I’d never just wait for an opportunity. I want to go out there and keep trying to bash that door down and go out there to impress,” he said.
“I go out there and try to give my all, showcase what I can do and if the captain and coach like the look of it, that’s great. If not, I’ll keep working hard to get my opportunity.
“The competitive nature in us all came out in that first warm-up. You all want to impress. It was a good laugh but it was taken seriously and with a competitive edge.”
England’s pace bowlers, Mark Wood and Jofra Archer, have a friendly rivalry around who can send down the fastest deliveries and in the 6ft 3in Stone, there is the prospect of making it a three-way battle.
“You do have a look at the speed guns,” he said with a smile. “But I’ll just keep going about my business.
“I feel in a great place, I’ve had those injuries in the past but hopefully they are in the past,” he added.