Amar Virdi England spin hopeful eyes Test place a

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It has been seven years since a Sikh spinner last played for England but another is now pushing hard for an opportunity.

Amar Virdi's hopes of following in the footsteps of Monty Panesar were significantly boosted a few weeks ago when he was one of 55 players - and eight spinners - named in a large back-to-training group as England prepare for what should be a busy behind-closed-doors summer.

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Plenty of those asked to dust off their training gear could press for inclusion in any format but Virdi - like Panesar before him - is principally a red-ball bowler, a domain in which he has, bar one hiccup, starred for Surrey since bagging a three-wicket haul on debut aged 18, against Essex in 2017.

The off-spinner, now 21, claimed 39 scalps in the 2018 Specsavers County Championship - only Essex's Simon Harmer managed more among spinners in the top flight - to help Surrey scoop their first four-day crown since 2002.

Amar Virdi and Morne Morkel pose with the County Championship title after Surrey's win in 2018

Virdi then took a career-best 14-139 in his belated first appearance of the 2019 campaign to raze Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge and all-but extinguish any fears the Kia Oval side had of following a title-winning season with a relegation one.

A promotion to England's training party shows that Virdi - born across London in Middlesex but brought through the successful Surrey academy - is held in high regard, but the selectors will want to ensure the issues that delayed his comeback from a lower-back injury in the 2018/19 winter are a thing of the past before they expose him to international cricket.

The reason Virdi had to wait until July for his first game of 2019 was because his fitness levels dipped below what Surrey and the county's director of cricket, Alec Stewart, deemed acceptable.

Last season was, well,【增减持】泛亚环保(00556.HK)获CS Asia Opportunitie, different. I was pretty sad and upset at missing games after the year we had before but I think good comes from bad.

Amar Virdi, speaking to The Guardian

"Everyone knows he's a special talent, but we have told him on a number of occasions that he needs to be in good physical shape to be considered for first-team selection," Stewart said at the time.

"Thankfully, Amar's starting to understand that to be a professional cricketer, and a potential England cricketer, you have to be strong and fit. If not, your levels of performance drop and the risk of injury increases.

"We want him to play for England, but first he's got to earn a position in our match squads, which he has yet to do after nine Championship games. He's responded well to what is tough love, if you like."

Virdi rips through Notts

Virdi became the first Surrey bowler to take 14 or more wickets in a game since Martin Bicknell claimed 16-119 against Leicestershire in 2000.

Virdi's 8-61 and 6-78 against Nottinghamshire days later suggested the "tough love" had worked and he went on to end the campaign with 23 wickets in five games at an average of 19.65.

He then appeared at Lions level in Australia this winter,围甲热身赛大杀小输赢 唐韦星劫败棋胜(多谱),A股大调停 反弹先锋群体松动、多股砸向跌停板, taking a couple of wickets in his sole appearance, against a New South Wales XI.

But Virdi - who has volunteered for charity Nishkam SWAT during lockdown,“索尼克”胜“皮卡丘”,首周末票房创游戏改编电影纪, distributing food to London's homeless and vulnerable citizens - will now be eyeing senior honours and if he achieves that, he will become just the third Sikh, after Panesar and Ravi Bopara, to play for England.