Dubai: Graham Onions, called in following an elbow injury to Tim Bresnan, may walk into the England team for the first cricket Test against Pakistan if he shows any signs of form in the three-day warm-up game against Pakistan Board XI, starting here Wednesday.
The chances of the Durham seamer playing in the first Test brightened as Chris Tremlett is still struggling with an eye infection. Onions is keen on proving a point to both his coach Andy Flower and captain Andy Strauss that he`s good enough to play international cricket.
"I want to try and prove a point to Flower and Strauss that I`m good enough to be here and stay," said Onions, who has been out of international cricket for almost two years after suffering a stress fracture in his back during the tour of Bangladesh in early 2010.
"Now that I`m up for selection it`s important for me to come in and get back to my form of 2009. That seems a long time ago. I`m here now and I want to make a difference -- I want to be part of this team. I`m convinced that with my skiddy type of bowling I`ll do quite well out here," The Guardian quoted Onions as saying.
"It`s been the toughest time of my career," added the 29-year-old, who played in eight Tests and four limited overs internationals in 2009-10.
Monty Panesar could also come into the England team to face the Pakistan Board XI, with Graeme Swann still awaiting the results of scans on a thigh muscle injury he sustained in the opening victory against an ICC Combined XI. Matt Prior is expected to return in place of Steven Davies after missing that game with a bruised finger.
Pakistan have arrived in Dubai to step up their preparations for the series and are confident that Junaid Khan, the left-arm seamer who had a brief stint with Lancashire last season, has recovered from a stomach injury.
"We put Junaid through his paces at the training camp and it was really pleasing to see that he came through with flying colours," said their acting coach, Mohsin Khan. "There were no problems with his levels of fitness and there was no problem with his selection."