Borthwick, Hales and Stokes in Lions squad
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.