One of the most surprising omissions from England's Ashes touring squad in the
winter was that of Graham Onions, who has never let England down during his short international career.
Onions has consistently been selected in England's Test match squad, only to find himself being left out on the morning of the first days play and either sent back to his county or left to carry the drinks.
In his nine Test matches so far the 31-year-old has already taken 32 wickets, at an average of just under 30, but his last appearance was against the West Indies was back in June 2012.
The main problem on the international stage for Onions is the fact that he is regarded as James Anderson's understudy and, with Anderson very rarely absent
through injury, Onions has found his opportunities limited.
England decided to go with tall fast bowlers to Australia in order to try and take advantage of
the bouncy pitches. It didn't work though, failing in spectacularly bad fashion during a turbulent winter down under.
The one positive that Onions can take out of him not being part of England's winter tour debacle is the fact that he watched on from a distance and his reputation has not been harmed, unlike most of those who were involved.
England's selectors may now look to overhaul their Test squad and, if they do,
Onions must be somewhere near the front of the queue for a place in a new look bowling attack.
During his Durham career, which began in 2003, Onions has been a consistent
performer for his county and has been one of the main reasons why Durham have
progressed so much over the last decade.
His 66 Championship wickets last season should have ensured he was part of the winter touring squads. Onions expressed his disappointment at once again missing out and I am sure he will be as as keen as ever to impress once again as the new county campaign gets underway.
The first two months of this season with Durham will be vital for his chances with England this summer. He will need to hit the ground running.
Durham will no doubt be striving hard to defend their County Championship trophy, which they
won last season, and will not necessarily be disappointed if Onions is once
again overlooked by England.
They begin their defence of the trophy against Northamptonshire on the 13th April.
Onions still has a lot to offer in an England shirt and if he can continue to do his talking on the pitch, in terms of taking wickets, I am sure he will get another chance to shine on the international stage.
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