(Photo: Getty Images)
By Jeremy Blackmore
Toby Roland-Jones is targeting an England recall by going back to the day job – taking wickets for Middlesex.
The seamer returned to the Oval this week, scene of his memorable Test debut, his four wickets helping to restrict Surrey to a modest first innings lead in this London derby.
Roland-Jones made an immediate impression for England this summer, taking 14 wickets in three Tests at under 20 apiece, but was left out of the Test side at Headingley in favour of Chris Woakes.
Roland-Jones admitted his disappointment, but said he would keep taking wickets for Middlesex in a bid to regain his England place: “I absolutely love playing for this club and these are the foundations that you want to try and build on.”
England skipper Joe Root made clear that despite not playing at Headingley, he saw Roland-Jones “being a massive part of our future”.
“It’s always nice to hear that,” said Roland-Jones, “and that’s also very reliant on myself being a consistent performer. So, for me, it’s as simple as any game I play, just trying to maintain a certain level, something which I’ve always looked to do in any case, and fingers crossed that’s good enough.
“For me it’s always been sticking to a few key principles when it comes to bowling and those hold true whichever format you’re playing. Of course, you can say there’s an added bit of confidence perhaps, just in knowing that you’ve received recognition for what you do.
“But other than that, it’s trying to maintain the same philosophies and principles and knowing that rewards come from good, consistent bowling.”
He was assured of a warm welcome from his Middlesex team-mates this week: “It’s been a really enjoyable couple of weeks for me. I’ve had a great time coming back. You feel like you haven’t seen the guys for a while. I’ve really enjoyed it and I’m really happy to be able to come back and hopefully try to contribute.”