Josh Tongue to make England debut after battling back from injury hell which left him considering retirement | Cricket News

Josh Tong probably didn’t expect to be on the verge of making his England Test debut at Lord’s.

Certainly not during a 15-month shoulder injury stint between 2021 and 2022 during which he contemplated retirement, and perhaps late in the squad to face Ireland from Thursday following issues with James Anderson (groin) and Ollie. Not even after joining from Robinson (ankle).

When Chris Woakes visited the media at lunchtime on Tuesday, it appeared that he would rule out Tongue for a place in the pace attack, but the news of Tongue’s arrival in the evening from England head coach Brendon McCullum became public earlier that afternoon. Was. He was in, Vox was out.

Thursday 1 June at 10:00am


The Worcestershire bowler will now become the first bowler for his county to make his debut for the England men’s Test team since Moeen Ali in 2014.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Tang, who has 162 wickets in 42 first-class matches at an average of 26.04. Was called in. Now to be in the real team, it’s just a dream come true.

“I was going in with no expectation of playing, just bowling to high-class players in the nets was good for me. I had to bowl well enough to get selected.

“It’s going to be a big thing for Worcester. Playing there since the age of six, getting my first professional contract through the age groups, there are so many people at Worcester who have influenced my career. I’m just grateful Thank you to all those who have helped me on my journey.”

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Worcestershire pacer Tongue can bring the ‘X-factor’ against Ireland, says England captain Ben Stokes

Tongue has not been in great form for New Road County this season, taking 11 wickets at an average of 41.45. But this England management team doesn’t care about numbers, they care about impact and meaningful contribution. This is the main reason why Zak Crawley still plays for them.

Tongue certainly made an impact against Sussex in early May, dismissing Australian batsman Steve Smith lbw. Now he could be one good performance away from giving himself the chance of another duel with Smith in the cauldron of Ashes cricket. “I’m a person who lives in the present. I try not to think too much about myself. Those things [The Ashes] Will come, I hope.”

For now, however, Tongue’s focus is on Ireland. England captain Ben Stokes said the decision to pick him was made to assess his character and highlight his “X-factor”.

Stokes told reporters, “Tanguey has a bit more pace than most of the players who line up and has made a good start to the season.”

“Having someone who is able to bowl with that extra pace and change where the game is going, that’s the X-factor, it’s great to have in your side.

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We revisit the moment when Tongue dismissed Australian batsman Steve Smith lbw while playing for Worcestershire against Sussex

“It was a good opportunity for Josh to show what he can do and to see what kind of character he has and how he can impact the game in a role I see him playing if he wants to.” Plays a few more games in the summer.”

sky cricket Pundit Michael Atherton said: “I think England see a high range. He’s a strong lad, very lively, hits the pitch hard. That’s the type of bowler they’re looking for. Five matches in about seven weeks The Ashes are Tests so England probably need that depth strength they talked about.

“What wouldn’t they want to have an important Ashes Test and then push someone like Tong to debut. I think that’s why they let him go here. It’s a good opportunity for him and a good story.” ,

This is truly a remarkable story. Tongue required two operations and Botox injections to fix a nerve problem in his right shoulder.

Realizing he may be at the point of no return, the Worcestershire paceman will now be the point of difference in an England bowling attack bruised by the express pace of Jofra Archer (elbow), Ollie Stone (hamstring) and Mark Wood (paternity) . Holiday).

Josh Tongue (Getty Images)
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Tongue will be the first Worcestershire player to make his England men’s Test debut since Moeen Ali in 2014

“I’m proud of myself and how I held up there. I was very close to retiring. I was in a really dark place. I don’t think there are many bowlers who have been in a situation like mine.”

Tongue impressed in the England Lions’ first innings against Sri Lanka A in February, taking eight wickets in the match at Galle including a five-wicket haul in the first innings.

He would love a similar return to his senior England bow, but for now he is just enjoying a “dream come true” selection in what at one time seemed the furthest thing from ambitions.

Watch Josh Tong make his England debut in the four-day Test against Ireland on Sky Sports Cricket. The coverage will begin at 10 am on Thursday before the first ball at 11 am.

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