Yorkshire paceman Liam Plunkett can make impact like Mitchell Johnson (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Yorkshire paceman Liam Plunkett can make impact like Mitchell Johnson
Liam Plunkett has been backed to become England's version of Mitchell Johnson if he makes his return for England in the opening Test against Sri Lanka at Lord's this week.
The 29-year-old Yorkshire seamer has been recalled to England's squad, seven years after his last Test appearance, having benefitted from making the short move from Durham to Headingley before the start of last season.
But having worked with Plunkett for the last two seasons, Yorkshire first-team coach Jason Gillespie - a former Australian Test bowler himself - has no doubt that he can perform the same role as Johnson does to such devastating effect.
Johnson took 37 wickets during the Australians' 5-0 Ashes whitewash during the winter, bowling mainly in short bursts before captain Michael Clarke replaced him.
Gillespie believes England should use Plunkett in a similar manner if they want to get the best out of him.
"He can bowl long spells because he's so fit and strong and if he is bowling well, keep him going and some days it will work and other days it won't - and Australia found that out pretty quickly with Mitch," said Gillespie.
"Sometimes he went for 30 runs in four overs but the way Clarke used him is some of the best captaincy you'll see.
"That is a team with plans who know how they want to go about it and all the players on the field know exactly what they are doing.
"Every player in that team knew exactly what Johnson was trying to do - it was either nose or toes.
"He is going to go for runs and we know that about Liam here at Yorkshire but we know what he's trying to do. He bowls 90mph and if you've got an asset like that, why wouldn't you bowl him in short bursts?"
Gillespie was speaking after the second day of Yorkshire's championship match against Nottinghamshire was all but washed out, apart from 9.3 overs when they progressed to 76-2 - still trailing by 129 runs.
Young batsman Jack Leaning, only 20, continued to impress and reached an unbeaten 35 in only the third championship match of his career, while captain Andrew Gale closed unbeaten on 23.
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