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Borthwick, Hales and Stokes in Lions squad

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 25, 2011

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Ben Stokes hit a career-best 185 against Lancashire, Durham v Lancashire, County Championship, Division One, Chester-le-Street, May 31, 2011
Ben Stokes has already put his name in the England frame © PA Photos
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Players/Officials: Scott Borthwick | Alex Hales | Ben Stokes
Series/Tournaments: Sri Lanka A tour of England
Teams: England

James Taylor, the Leicestershire batsman, will captain England Lions in their four-day and one-day matches against Sri Lanka A next month. The squads include Scott Borthwick, the Durham legspinner, Nottinghamshire batsman Alex Hales while Ben Stokes, the Durham allrounder, is included for the one-day matches.

Taylor takes over the Lions captaincy from James Hildreth who led them on the tour of West Indies and against Sri Lanka, at Derby, earlier this season. Taylor has already faced Sri Lanka A for Leicestershire and scored an unbeaten 168 in the recent four-day match with began their tour. When he faced the full Sri Lanka team in May he scored an excellent 76 in tough conditions.

However, the really interesting selections are those players who haven't appeared for the Lions before. Borthwick has moved ahead of Adil Rashid as a legspinning allrounder after taking 19 wickets at 30.57 in the County Championship along with scoring 348 runs at 38.66.

Hales has impressed at the top of the order for Nottinghamshire and has made 592 runs in the Championship, including a career-best 184 along with 214 runs in the CB40 and 409 in the Friends Life t20 at a strike-rate of 149.81. The other new faces in the squads are Joe Root, the 20-year-old Yorkshire batsman, an interesting choice as he has yet to score a first-class hundred, and pace bowlers Jack Brooks and Stuart Meaker from Northamptonshire and Surrey respectively.

Stokes, meanwhile, may already have played for England this season if it hadn't been for an untimely broken finger after he began the summer in fine form. Overall he has 609 Championship runs included three hundreds - one a career-best 185 - and has chipped in with 17 wickets.

It isn't just fresh faces who make up the squads, however, with Ravi Bopara included in both parties and Steven Finn for the three one-day matches along with Warwickshire allrounder Chris Woakes who has played ODI and Twenty20 cricket for England.

The four-day match takes place at Scarborough from August 2-5 with the three one-day games on August 12, 14, and 16 at New Road and Wantage Road.

Four-day squad James Taylor (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Jack Brooks, Jade Dernbach, Alex Hales, James Harris, Craig Kieswetter, Stuart Meaker, Samit Patel, Joe Root.

One-day squad James Taylor (capt), Jonny Bairstow, Ravi Bopara, Scott Borthwick, Danny Briggs, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, James Harris, Stuart Meaker, Chris Nash, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SoqedHozi on (July 27, 2011, 21:02 GMT)

Nash has been brilliant this season with the bat, and offers some part-time spin with a knack for taking wickets in the shorter formats.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 19:33 GMT)

Meaker, another South African!

Posted by Tigg on (July 26, 2011, 9:38 GMT)

I agree with coatsie, although I'm somewhat suprised that Chris Nash is only in the limited over squad as while he's a solid short form player he has been, over the last few seasons, an excellent opening bat in the four day game. Glad to see Harris in the mix as well.

Posted by Nutcutlet on (July 26, 2011, 8:31 GMT)

Stuart Meaker is genuinely quick and has enormous potential, but he lacks accuracy. Including him in both squads at this stage in his development seems to me to be a major mistake (Surrey often leave him out in one day games). For the time being, SM needs to focus (or be focussed) on the 4 day game where he is not subject to restricted field placings and a format where edged shots off express deliveries often go for fours because there are seldom enough slips. Fast bowlers need to be managed very carefully!

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

England are starting to get their act together, there are some good players here who can do well in international cricket. Out of the bunch i rate Patel, Stokes, Bairstow and Taylor very highly, while Kieswetter is an automatic selection now for the ODI squad. Bopara is talented, i just dont rate him that high after i have seen him play for england he is a flat track bully only. Finn and Woakes are very close to england selection, the other selections dont matter because they wont ge near the england full strength squad at the moment. Keep a very close eye on Ben stokes particularly because england needs a good batsman for number 6, that can also bowl some overs. Morgan is a good batsman, but in the top 6 no one bowls decent so there is a need for an allrounder, either Patel or Stokes. James Taylor is also very close to ENG selection and certainly should be in the ODI squad. Alex Hales is one to watch for 50 over cricket.

Posted by   on (July 26, 2011, 7:15 GMT)

England are starting to get their act together, there are some good players here who can do well in international cricket. Out of the bunch i rate Patel, Stokes, Bairstow and Taylor very highly, while Kieswetter is an automatic selection now for the ODI squad. Bopara is talented, i just dont rate him that high after i have seen him play for england he is a flat track bully only. Finn and Woakes are very close to england selection, the other selections dont matter because they wont ge near the england full strength squad at the moment. Keep a very close eye on Ben stokes particularly because england needs a good batsman for number 6, that can also bowl some overs. Morgan is a good batsman, but in the top 6 no one bowls decent so there is a need for an allrounder, either Patel or Stokes. James Taylor is also very close to ENG selection and certainly should be in the ODI squad. Alex Hales is one to watch for 50 over cricket.

Posted by anshu.s on (July 26, 2011, 6:35 GMT)

Yeah James Vince n Jose Butler deserved a chance in one-day squad

Posted by Finn92 on (July 26, 2011, 0:11 GMT)

Well I was kind of over reacting about Rashid but I do feel he has been mistreated somewhat. Yes Borthwick has the better current form so he does deserve a chance as much as anyone but I haven't seen him bowl (or bat for that matter) so I can't really say how he compares to Rashid.

Posted by   on (July 25, 2011, 21:37 GMT)

Jimmy Harris' inclusion is the best news in my book. Plenty of respect for Bairstow, Stokes and co (ginger uprising) but as a Harris and Glamorgan fan, this is great. Hopefully Harris continues to make a good impression with bat and ball, especially after proving himself in the West Indies recently. Playing with the Lions is one the few ways, along with changing counties (sadly) - unlikely at present - for Harris to get decent recognition. Seems the fact he has 199 FC wickets at an average of 27 isn't good enough. I'm sure if he went to Warks or Nottinghamshire he'd be front of the queue. Good luck to the England Lions in all these matches!

Posted by SDHM on (July 25, 2011, 18:44 GMT)

Finn - I'm confused about the Rashid situation as well, but I'm not unhappy to see Borthwick given a go. He turns the ball more than Rashid does (that action reminds me of Shane Warne - although he obviously doesn't bowl as well just yet :P) and has been in better form recently, as you say. Rashid's performances in the T20 surely merited him a go though in the one day team though. Joe Root is the one I'm slightly unconvinced by - there are better young batsmen around the country. I would love to have seen Stokes in there along with his inclusion in the one day squads.

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