Graham Onions: Durham seamer keeps pushing for England spot

Graham Onions

Durham seamer Graham Onions is hopeful the form that brought a FTI Most Valuable Player award for April can carry him into the England team.

The 30-year-old has 18 first-class wickets so far this season, helping Durham to two wins from four in Division One of the Championship.

"Everybody who plays county cricket has aspirations to play for England and I'm no different," Onions told BBC Sport.

"I'm no spring chicken but I'm also a consistent performer."

England are preparing for home and away Ashes series against Australia, but before that they host New Zealand with the first Test starting later this month at Lord's.

Onions, who has 32 Test wickets in nine matches, was part of England's winter touring party and, looking ahead, is confident he can add something to Andy Flower's squad.

"I enjoy bowling and taking wickets. In English conditions I hit the seam, play stump to stump and get batsmen playing every ball," he added.

"There are still a lot of good bowlers out there that England has the luxury to pick from. If I get selected, then fantastic, if I don't then I promise I'll work as hard as I can to get in the England side.

"The only way I'll do that is by playing well for Durham and taking wickets."

While Onions has continued the form from last season that saw him finish the campaign with a total of 64 scalps, Durham have had a mixed opening to the season with two wins and two defeats.

However, the county put aside a disappointing derby defeat by Yorkshire to record a thrilling last-gasp victory against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge that temporarily sent them top of the table.

"There's a few people have said the batting would be a problem [this season]. We hadn't scored a great deal of runs and that's what people were judging us on," Onions said.

"But it shows when we do get runs on the board - a great example of that is Will Smith getting 170-odd at Nottinghamshire - that with the team that we've got and the bowling unit we've got, we're up there with the best in the County Championship.

"At Durham you play on result wickets, which is good and a lot of people are now looking at Durham as a side that could challenge.

"I'm not going to be foolish to say we'll win the league, but also I'd challenge people that say we won't win things as we've got a good blend of youth and experience that will help us compete in all competitions."

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