Olly Stone is relishing another chance to ‘knock on the door’ of England’s squad for a day after waiting more than two years since his last appearance.
The paceman’s career was on a steep upward trajectory in the winter of 2018 when he opened his international account by firing Sri Lanka’s Niroshan Dickwella in Dambulla with a bouncer who climbed on previously tame ground.
But injuries halted his progress, with two stress fractures, lateral strain and an insignificant hamstring limiting him to a lonely cap since – a test start against Ireland.
The 27-year-old Warwickshire quick is back in the hunt, claiming a place on the English tour of South Africa with a strong performance in the Vitality Blast. He cast an encouraging spell in the warm-up game between Team Morgan and Team Buttler, passing six passes at a steady pace and claiming a catch and bowling to see Tom Curran.
Stone was not selected for the Twenty20 series, but is up for the ODI stage and looks forward to impressing when the team come face to face with Paarl on Monday in a T20.
“I would never wait for an opportunity. I want to go over there and keep trying to break that door and go over there to impress, ”he said.
“I go out there and try to give it my all, show what I can do and if the captain and the coach like the look it’s great. Otherwise, I will continue to work hard to take my chance.
“The competitive nature in us came out during this first warm-up. You all want to impress. It was a good laugh but it was taken seriously and with a competitive edge.
English rhythm bowlers Mark Wood and Jofra Archer have a friendly rivalry around who can send the fastest deliveries and in the 6ft 3in Stone there is the prospect of making it a three-way battle.
“You have a quick look at the pistols,” he said with a smile. “But I will continue to mind my own business.
“I feel good, I have had these injuries in the past, but I hope they are in the past,” he added.