At Lord’s this week, he has the chance to repeat the trick. “It would be great to get Steve Smith out again,” Tongue said on Tuesday, after being named in England’s team for the second Ashes Test. “I was pretty happy the first time so, if I can do it on a second occasion, that would be good for the team as well and hopefully that will happen.”
“I knew the step up from county cricket to international cricket would be a big one, and playing here at Lord’s was a very special moment for myself, having never played here before,” Tongue said. “To then get five wickets against Ireland on my debut was an incredible feeling and should give me confidence ahead of another chance against Australia.
“There was a bit of pace in the wicket against Ireland so more of that would be nice,” he added. “There is a green tinge to the pitch at the moment which would benefit all of our seamers. And if there is a bit of nip and movement in the air then I think our bowling unit can benefit from that and use the conditions in our favour.”
“But then we used him in a different way, where we attacked the Ireland batters with our short-ball plan. Broady, Jimmy and Robbo will tell you it’s always nice having someone who can bowl at 90mph doing it. Just having that versatility as a bowler this week is going to be very useful.”
And Tongue believes he is up to the task. “Coming into the side now for the next Test, I feel like I can add a bit more pace and bounce to the attack – and hopefully I can get a few wickets for the team as well,” he said. “Whatever Stokesy asks me to do for the team, I’m here to do it as best I can.”