May 29, 2020
- Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98
England on Friday named a 55-man return-to-training group, featuring as many as 14 players who have not been capped at senior level. Here we run through the new faces who could be in line for debuts this summer.
Doughty left-hander who has impressed at No. 3 for Gloucestershire in the County Championship. Went to Mumbai on ECB-led spin camp last winter, before touring Australia with the Lions. Likely to be considered for red-ball cricket, but improving in limited-overs games and can keep wicket when required.
Rated by his erstwhile Warwickshire coach, Ashley Giles, as one of the most talented young players he had ever seen, Brookes made his first-class debut at 18 and was soon called into the Lions squad. Capable of bowling over 90mph, with pleasing shape and an attitude that suggests he thrives on hard work and the heat of battle, it seems the only thing that can hold the 20-year-old back is injury.
A South African-born seamer who qualifies through his British passport, Carse impressed on the Lions tour to Australia, claiming eight wickets in four matches, and has regularly pushed the 90mph mark. Took 35 Championship wickets at 26.85 last season, but could come into white-ball reckoning.
Evans, 32, has developed into a feared white-ball batsman. Player of the match in the Blast final of 2014, he was the tournament’s leading run-scorer in 2018 and has become a regular on the global T20 circuit. Something of a surprise selection for the Lions tour in the winter, he responded with 94 in an unofficial ODI against Australia A. As a schoolboy he played rugby for Harlequins and the South of England.
Gleeson might have been lost to the game but for an impressive spell with Cumberland in the minor counties. He was subsequently signed on a match-by-match basis by Northants and made his first-class debut aged 27. Barely 18 months later, he was called up to the Lions squad. He is now 32 but, with blessed with sharp pace and a good yorker, that England cap remains tantalisingly close.
With the highest List A average in history – 59.78 – Hain has made a case that cannot be ignored. Born in Hong Kong to British parents, Hain was raised in Australia where he played Under-19s cricket. Warwickshire’s youngest centurion and double-centurion in first-class cricket, it’s his white-ball form that brings earns him this place. A century for England Lions against Australia in February sealed the deal.
A regular feature in Lions squads over the years, Helm has often been earmarked as an England player for the future without ever having a stellar county season to really press his case. But last year was his best yet, with 58 wickets for Middlesex across all formats, and his height and pace make him an impressive prospect.
First came to mainstream attention with a 25-ball hundred in a pre-season T10 game against Lancashire last year, which included six sixes in an over, but has already spent a long time in the England pathway programme. A regular at U-19 level, Jacks went on the spin camp to Mumbai last winter before travelling to Australia with the Lions, and is a powerful hitter in one-day cricket.
There’s a crowded market-place for white-ball opening batsmen at present, but 25-year-old Kohler-Cadmore does stick out as an attractive option. Strong, tall and destructive, there is more than a hint of Graeme Hick about the way he plays down the ground, with a 43-ball century in 2016 showing what he is capable of doing.
The stand-out player on last winter’s Lions tour with 493 runs in six innings including 125 against Australia A at the MCG – plus 11 wickets to boot with his distinctive offspin. An unorthodox batsman with a particularly strong pair of wrists, Lawrence’s form has improved drastically since he removed his exaggerated trigger movement midway through last summer to stay more still at the crease.
First called up aged 19 but still uncapped seven years later, it’s not hard to see what attracts the selectors. Quicker than his brother Craig, he offers, at his best, the pace, bounce and hostility that would improve any attack. But injuries have eroded his confidence and his consistency and he had fallen back among a pack of fast bowlers chasing for attention.
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Tall, stocky seamer who took seven wickets in the Lions’ victory against Australia A at MCG. Relentless and increasingly consistent: no seamer has taken as many Championship wickets (137) over the last two seasons. Has flourished under Jason Gillespie at Sussex – somewhat ironically, having been sacked by him as a junior pro at Yorkshire.
Called up to England’s T20I squad last year but didn’t end up playing and was disappointed to miss out on New Zealand series last November. Clean-striking top-order batsman in white-ball cricket, whose aggressive powerplay hitting has taken him to the T10, PSL, CPL and Big Bash, and still only 23.
A 21-year-old Surrey offspinner who has been back in training at The Oval, and will come into the reckoning for the enlarged Test squad, having been part of the red-ball leg of last winter’s Lions tour. Needed some “tough love” after struggling to regain fitness following a stress-related back injury in 2018-19 winter, according to Alec Stewart, but came back into the first team in style with a 14-wicket haul.
And the rest:
Tom Banton, Pat Brown, Lewis Gregory and Saqib Mahmood made white-ball debuts over the winter. Mason Crane played two T20Is in 2017 and the final Test of that winter’s Ashes tour but has mainly been limited to white-ball cricket since. Liam Dawson has won 12 caps across formats and carried the drinks in last summer’s World Cup, while Ben Duckett, Liam Livingstone and David Willey are back in contention after missing several squads. Reece Topley has suffered badly with injuries since his last England appearance at the 2016 World T20 but is fit again, while Olly Stone is involved again after a stress fracture last summer.
Alex Hales and Liam Plunkett’s hopes of an international recall have been dashed, while Joe Clarke, Sam Northeast, Tom Abell and Jamie Porter may feel hard done by. Harry Gurney, Ravi Bopara and Tymal Mills are among the potential T20 World Cup bolters overlooked – although the training group has been picked primarily with Test and ODI cricket in mind.
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