Preston's Tom Bailey hoping to become a Lancashire mainstay in 2018

Preston’s Tom Bailey is hoping to cement his place as a mainstay of Lancashire’s attack this summer.

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The former Vernon Carus seamer made a strong start to the 2018 season with 3-26 in the first innings of the Red Rose’s defeat to Nottinghamshire in their County Championship opener at Old Trafford this week.

Bailey has been in and out of the first XI and has competition this campaign from new arrivals Graham Onions and Joe Mennie but the 26-year-old is up for the challenge.

“It would be nice to have a full season in the first XI,” said Bailey, who took a 10-wicket haul against Middlesex on his first visit to Lord’s last summer.

“I finished well in the first XI last year and hopefully I can just carry on that form and play most of the season.

“I’ve had a few injuries in the last few years which have put me out of contention for selection.

Preston's Lancashire bowler Tom Bailey

Preston's Lancashire bowler Tom Bailey

“When you’re bowling well and in form it’s disappointing when you pick up injuries. But I’m fit and hopefully it can stay that way until September.”

Bailey made the opening XI of the season alongside former Durham and England man Onions and Australian professional Mennie while England Lions prospect Saqib Mahmood missed out through injury.

“Fast bowlers are always going to get injured but we’ve strengthened the squad and you don’t mind the lads coming in,” Bailey said.

“You know they’re going to come in and do a job. The squad is looking really squad.

“You’ll struggle to have an XI playing the whole season in all formats.

“I feel like I’m bowling well at the moment though and that’s all I can do.

“I feel that when I am bowling well I should be in that starting XI.”

Bailey believes Lancashire should be competing on all fronts this season having finished second in Division One of the County Championship in 2017.

“If you look back on last year and the squad we’ve got now it’s stronger,” he said.

“After finishing second last year there’s no reason why we can’t got and win it this time.

“We’ve struggled in the one-dayers the last few seasons and we’ll be looking to put that right as well.

“We always do well in the T20 stuff and it’s just a longer version of that.

“We’ve definitely got the players to go and win trophies.”