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County Players Most Likely to Break into England Setup

Amar Virdi – Surrey
Amar Virdi – Surrey
©Cricket World / John Mallett
 
Alex Lees (Durham)
Alex Lees (Durham)
©CWM
 

This summer promises to be a challenging one for England in all forms of the game with many of the team’s stars having been caught up in the IPL chaos and selectors scrambling to decide who will be fit to play in both the limited over teams and the test side.

Here we take a look at those players who could be ideal additions to the England squads, as they prepare to do battle with New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India.

Matt Parkinson – Lancashire

England have always struggled to find world class spinners to complement their stellar seam attack. This is something that has held them back from consistently being made odds-on favourites by bookmakers, especially when they are due to play series on spinning pitches or in conditions that provide no seam or swing movement.

While there have been some diamonds in the rough, such as Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, very few England spinners have ever been able to bring that x-factor, due to the fact they could not make the ball turn both ways. One only has to look at the incredible careers of legends of the sport like Shane Warne and Mushtaq Ahmed to see how valuable a leg-spinner can be, not only for their respective team but also for the betting punters who want consistent performances from their beloved England stars. That is why there are plenty of cricket followers who are eager to see Matt Parkinson’s name appear on the money lines that are found via this helpful list of betting sites, which will demark the England selectors finally putting their trust in the young Lancashire leggy.

Amar Virdi – Surrey

This Surrey spin wizard was part of the England setup this winter but never quite broke through into first team action. However, the whispers coming out of the camp were that Virdi conducted himself well and he has been working hard on his fitness and the physical aspects of his game ahead of the county season. He is currently battling it out with Daniel Moriarty to decide who is the frontline spinner at Surrey, but he should come through that challenge and maybe make a late charge for the England first team. He and Matt Parkinson in tandem would be a sight for sore eyes.

Tom Lammonby – Somerset

Set to turn 21 in June, Tom Lammonby’s performances and runs already having him rubbing shoulders with legends of the game like Alastair Cook, who he ran close in the race to be the Bob Willis Trophy’s top scorer last season.

With a solid technique and a sound ability to build a match-winning innings, he will no doubt be better suited to the test arena than limited overs cricket, which is evidenced by his T20 stats not being anywhere near as impressive as his first-class numbers.

This summer might come a bit too early for the youngster, but all it could take is a few injuries and before you know it, he could be walking out at Lords alongside Rory Burns. He must ensure that his good form continues now that county cricket is back up and running at full force.

Alex Lees – Durham

It’s one thing scoring buckets of runs in nice sunny conditions, but it is quite another doing it in a place like Durham, where changeable weather and questionable batting tracks make occupying the crease a particularly daunting task.

Alex Lees is the sort of special talent who takes such challenges in his stride and was a standout run scorer for Durham in the four-day format of the game last season. With England due to play most of their summer tests at venues that are far more conducive to batting, Lees could find international cricket a walk in the park. It remains to be seen whether playing for one of the more unfashionable counties will count against him.

He has already been making waves this season, having notched a masterful 126 not out against Warwickshire in the County Championship, in the aforementioned tricky conditions at Chester-Le-Street. If he keeps that up, then he could well be in with a shout of an England call-up. There is no doubt in the North East that Lees would rise to the challenge.

©Cricket World 2021