Liam Plunkett’s 11th Test will be every bit as much a cause for personal celebration as his team-mate Ian Bell’s 100th.
Both players, by degrees, have had moments when they wondered whether they would be in the position they are as they prepare for the second Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley toay.
Bell’s doubts were relatively transitory, back in 2009 when he was dropped – but not for long – at the start of the Andy Flower era.
For Plunkett, the hiatus was significantly longer and seemed terminal between his ninth Test against West Indies at Old Trafford in 2007 and his return for the start of this series at Lord’s last week.
“I’d love to be approaching my 100th Test, like Belly,” he said. “But it wasn’t meant to be, and that’s my fault.”
The resurgent seamer blames himself, principally, for a mid-career slump which saw him not only fall out of the England reckoning but eventually Durham’s first-team plans too.
At 29, and following a move to Yorkshire two years ago, Plunkett is back to his best – and his quickest – having learned a lot.
“I was young then and I didn’t know my game too well,” he said, recalling where his career began to veer off track. I would turn up day by day just hoping for the best and try to pitch it up.”