Youngsters Potts and Brook in line for first Test call-ups in England’s squad to face NZ – iNews

Posted: May 17, 2022 at 7:01 pm

England look set to call-up two Test debutants in Yorkshire batter Harry Brook and Durham seamer Matty Potts when they announce their squad for next months three-match series against New Zealand on Wednesday.

Brook, 23, has been in stellar form in this summers County Championship, scoring three centuries and passing 50 seven times in the eight Division One innings he has played so far.

Another batter who could also be called up is Middlesexs Sam Robson, the Australian-born opener who played the last of his seven Tests for England in 2014.

The 32-year-old has scored two centuries so far this season and although they are Division Two runs, he made a timely unbeaten 101 against a strong Nottinghamshire attack at Lords last week that included Stuart Broad and former Australia fast bowler James Pattinson.

If Robson were to be recalled, it would probably mean a shift down the order to No 3 for Zak Crawley to fill the position that will be vacated by former captain Joe Roots move back to four.

Meanwhile, Potts is on the verge of a first international call-up at the age of 23 after taking 35 Championship wickets at 18.57.

The 23-year-old might have been in contention anyway given that start to the season but now looks almost certain to be called upon given the injury crisis in Englands bowling ranks.

Already missing fast bowlers Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Olly Stone, both Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Fisher were ruled out for the rest of the summer on Monday with stress fractures of the back. Chris Woakes and Sam Curran are also not yet fully recovered from injury, while Ollie Robinsons fitness issues mean he has bowled just 59 overs in competitive cricket since January.

It means James Anderson, 39, and Stuart Broad, 35, are both expected to return after Englands top-two all-time leading wicket-takers were dropped for that recent tour of the Caribbean.

A selection panel of new Test head coach Brendon McCullum, captain Ben Stokes, director of cricket Rob Key and performance director Mo Bobat are likely to name an expanded squad of up to 17 names, meaning Robinson and Dan Lawrence, the Essex batter who has been out with a hamstring injury, would have time to fully prove their fitness before the series begins.

i also understands both Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttlers involvement in the Indian Premier League wont necessarily rule them out of contention, although England may decide resting both players is beneficial given the hectic summer ahead across all formats.

Matthew Mott will be announced as Englands new white-ball coach on Wednesday after the Australian beat off competition from Paul Collingwood, assistant coach under the previous regime, to take the role.

It means no English coaches managed to get either the red or white-ball head coach jobs after director of cricket Rob Key decided to split the roles following the sacking of Chris Silverwood in February. This will be the first time England have had split coaches since 2014, when there was tension between Test boss Andy Flower and white-ball counterpart Ashley Giles.

However, Key will be confident such friction will not be repeated this time, with Mott a close friend of Brendon McCullum, the New Zealander who was appointed Englands Test coach last week.

The pair have worked together previously at the IPL with Kolkata Knight Riders, when McCullum was a player and Mott was a consultant.

More recently, Mott, who started his coaching career with New South Wales and was in charge of Glamorgan for three years from 2011, has been the head coach of the all-conquering Australia womens team since 2015. The 48-year-old led Australia to victory in the Womens World Cup in New Zealand this year and a record run of 26 successive one-day international wins.

After the shock appointment of McCullum, who has no red-ball coaching experience, the recruitment of Mott is another bold call from Key yet it may prove inspired given the new mans proven track record with Australia.

Another Australian in Simon Katich was also competing for the white-ball role but i understands Gary Kirsten declined to be considered for the post after the South African, who led India to 2011 World Cup success, was overlooked for the England Test-match job.

If England are picking purely on form, then Brook becomes the favourite to play at No 5 in the first Test against New Zealand.

His rivals for that position, may beg to differ, but with Lawrence yet to return from a hamstring injury, Bairstow not due back from the IPL until the end of the month and Pope already having failed to convince over his first 23 Tests, England might well go for Brook.

Ottis Gibson, Yorkshires coach, is certainly expecting that to be the case, saying recently: I think hes playing the best in the country at the moment. Brookys scoring his runs at a run-a-ball, and although when he goes upstairs into the Test arena it might be different, hes playing really positively and putting the bowlers under pressure.

I keep saying we wont see much of him this summer because hes playing so well, so therefore if England are picking the best team, then theyll most likely be picking him.

Ali Maiden, Yorkshires batting coach, is of a similar mind having seen Brooks progression over the past year. I think up to 12 months ago he would say he didnt feel as comfortable with his defence, Maiden tells i. He says his biggest development is hes more confident with his defence. That then allows him to express himself with all the great attacking shots hes got.

Hes also been around the world playing in big tournaments where hes been exposed and thats a huge confidence boost for himself.

There was a worry hed become a white-ball specialist. But in his mind, he wants to play every format, he wants to play for England and wants to do everything. That shows the drive and determination of the lad.

Maiden has no doubts Brook is ready and sees similarities between the youngster and another of Yorkshires England batters Joe Root.I think he is ready, said Maiden.

Hes got a good head on his shoulders and hes a bit like Joe in that hes very, very easy he fits in the dressing-room lovely, hes got a lovely manner. So I dont think hell be overawed by the occasion.

He was in the T20 squad and really enjoyed that environment. Theres been a lot of speculation about him playing [for England] the last few weeks. Some people that can affect them. All of a sudden, the media are around and scores deteriorate. Hes gone the other way, so thats a good sign.

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Youngsters Potts and Brook in line for first Test call-ups in England's squad to face NZ - iNews

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