Stone eager for England chance in second test v Sri Lanka

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - Ashes 2019 - First Test - England v Australia - Edgbaston, Birmingham, Britain - August 1, 2019 England's Olly Stone Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

(Reuters) - Firebrand fast bowler Olly Stone is hoping to make up for lost time with a second test cap when England take on Sri Lanka in the second and final match of their two-game series in Galle on Friday.

Stone is among the quickest bowlers in English cricket and made his test debut against Ireland in July 2019, but a succession of injuries throughout his career have stunted his progress, leaving him questioning his future.

"Having those injuries has been frustrating and at times you do question if it is the right thing to do. But I love playing cricket, so hopefully there are many more years to come," he told reporters on Wednesday.

"Hopefully those are in the past and I can build on that one test cap and give more going forward.

"It has been hard. You need people around you who support you. Getting myself fitter and putting the hard yards in has helped."

England coach Chris Silverwood suggested Stone could play in the second test against Sri Lanka and, if not, then during the four-match series in India that follows.

Stone is eager to unleash what he sees as his improved skillset on the test scene, even on the slower, lower wickets of the subcontinent.

"My accuracy has improved. It is great bowling at a high speed but if you can’t control it, the game can get away from you. So I think I have been a bit more accurate," he says.

"I have also improved my skills. On these wickets, which can get a bit flat, just trying to find ways of getting something out of that deck to find the breakthrough is important."

England won the first test at the same venue by seven wickets but are looking to rotate their seam attack to wrap up the series, with James Anderson and Chris Woakes also in contention for selection.

(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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