“I’m gutted to miss start of England’s international summer – but I’ll be back”

I won’t lie, I’m gutted to be missing the start of England’s international summer.

Knowing that my finger injury is keeping me off the field is so frustrating, but once I get over that feeling on the first morning when they walk out in front of a crowd again, I will let them get on with it and get back to my training.

I’m able to bowl, I’m able to get in the gym and I’m able to hit some balls again so I’m at an exciting point of my recovery where full-on training is not that far away and then I can start thinking about playing in a match again.

It is still too early to say exactly when I’ll be back for Durham, but I’ve had a good start.

Rooty and the lads will have their work cut out against a decent New Zealand team, but I reckon we still have enough in the tank to get a result with some entertaining cricket on show.

Ben Stokes says it won’t be long until he can start thinking about playing in a match again

The England team will look a little different to what we’ve been used to but whether you’re earning your first or your hundredth cap it is the quality of the cricket that matters.

Guys like James Bracey and Ollie Robinson have fully earned their call ups. You never totally know how it is going to go until they get out there, but it is fair to say we’re all excited to see new talent being given the opportunity to show what they can do and this is their chance to stake a claim for the long term.

James has got an unbelievable work ethic and this is a fitting reward for the amount of hard graft he has put in when he’s been in the bubble at home or on tour and he’s backed it up with runs for Gloucestershire.

There is still plenty of experience in the team too and none more so than James Anderson who will equal Cooky’s (Sir Alastair Cook’s) record for number of Test matches for England with 161 caps if he plays.

That is simply an incredible effort from Jimmy and as I sit here now injured and unable to play, I am blown away by his ability to get on the park as many times as he has done.

To take as many wickets as he has is one thing.

His skills are second to none, but I’m not sure people realise just how much commitment and dedication to the sport it takes to keep going game after game, year after year, coming back injury after injury and still producing the goods.

I know he and Stuart Broad have set the bar so high for bowlers and they are still doing the business. How lucky are our young players? They will get to be on the same field as them where they can learn so much up close and personal.

I have taken plenty from Jimmy, not so much from talking about bowling, which we do every now and again, but from watching him. When it comes to bowling I have had the best teacher right in front of me showing me how to do it.

He is relentless with his line and length, with a bit of magic thrown in.

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