England v India: Simon Kerrigan deserves chance, say team-mates

Simon Kerrigan
Simon Kerrigan had faced criticism since a difficult England Test debut against Australia last summer but his team-mates say he deserves a second chance
England v India - Second Test
Venue: Lord's Date: 17-21 July
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Simon Kerrigan's England team-mates have rejected claims the spin bowler is not ready for an international return.

Kerrigan has not played for his country since struggling on his debut against Australia but is in contention for the Lord's Test against India.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan said Kerrigan, 25, has been recalled too soon and feared for his future.

But England opener Sam Robson backed Kerrigan, adding: "If he plays, I have got no doubt that he will do well."

England v India 2014 Test series
First Test9-13 JulyTrent BridgeDrawn
Second Test17-21 JulyLord's-
Third Test27-31 JulyRose Bowl-
Fourth Test7-11 AugustOld Trafford-
Fifth Test15-19 AugustThe Oval-

In an interview with Sky Sports, Robson added: "He's a strong character, a great guy and he's bowling well."

England team-mate Gary Ballance agreed with Robson.

"He obviously had a tough debut, but I have seen him bowling in the nets at Trent Bridge and he bowled brilliantly," Ballance told Radio 5 live.

"It's different to being in the middle at Lord's, but he's confident and hard working and will learn from the experience he's had."

Kerrigan bowled just eight overs on his England debut at The Oval last summer but went for 53 runs and failed to take a wicket.

Simon Kerrigan
Simon Kerrigan (left, with Steven Croft) has taken 28 first-class wickets in 12 Lancashire games in 2014

The Lancashire man joined the England set-up during the drawn first Test at Trent Bridge and has now been called into a 14-man squad.

Robson and Ballance also praised captain Alastair Cook, who is without a Test century for more than a year and has failed to guide England to victory in nine matches.

"As captain, he's been really good to the young guys and to myself coming into the side," said Robson.

"Things aren't necessarily happening as he would have liked at the moment but I'm sure runs are around the corner for him."