Bowling coach believes fast-bowler is capable of making a big impact in international cricket
Olly Stone’s call-up to England’s squad for the tour to Sri Lanka is fully deserved by a player who “has kept improving every game” this season, reckons Warwickshire bowling coach Graeme Welch.
Bears paceman Stone will land in Sri Lanka on Monday with the England tour-party ahead of the five-match ODI series to be followed by three Tests.
He showed the mental strength you need to come back from a serious injury and I’m so happy for him. I think he will do a very good job for England.Graeme Welch
The 23-year-old’s call-up follows a powerful season for Warwickshire in which he has emphatically proved that his pace and powers are unimpaired by 18 months out of the game following a serious knee injury.
Stone has worked a lot with Welch during the last year – and the bowling coach has seen enough to have confidence that the fast-bowler is capable of making a big impact in international cricket.
“What has really impressed me about Olly is that everything we have thrown at him as coaches he has taken in his stride and absorbed,” he said. “He has kept improving every game.
“He just loves to bowl fast but we spoke to him about not bowling flat out all the time and sometimes just going through the gears and being a bit more game-aware and having a bit more situation awareness. He’s taken that on board.
“I think what the England camp like about him is that he hits the stumps. When the ball is swinging he can swing it away from the bat from a fuller length and nick batsmen off but when it reverses he bowls nice and straight.
“Olly averaged a wicket every 21 balls this season so that’s better than Test level – that’s up there with the best. He’s also showed the mental strength you need to come back from a serious injury and I’m so happy for him. I think he will do a very good job for England.”