Liam Plunkett’s partly representing Sajid Mahmood here as well (if it’s possible for one person to represent an entirely different person). It’s that whole ‘actually, those bowlers aren’t shite’ sentiment that we expressed a month or so ago.
Both bowlers are synonymous with Duncan Fletcher prematurity, but that word ‘prematurity’ is the key there. These pair were selected on promise and just because they didn’t meet those expectations then and there doesn’t mean all promise has been washed out of them, like a beer stain out of your second favourite T-shirt.
Maybe that promising stain was greasier than that. Maybe it’s never going to wash out. Maybe it’ll expand and take over the whole T-shirt until you can’t even see the stain any more, because the whole T-shirt’s the same greasy colour; a better colour. Now it’s your favourite T-shirt and the one that was previously your favourite has to be thrown away or dumped in county cricket in order to get some overs under its belt.
Liam Plunkett is still only 23. He’s about a month older than Stuart Broad. Even we weren’t fully on the scrap heap at that age.