3 candidates for England’s winter tours to keep an eye on
After slumping to a 10-wicket defeat at the Oval to draw the Test series against Pakistan, England have a few personnel kinks to iron out before they name their squads to tour Bangladesh and India this winter.
It’s expected that James Vince, who failed to reach fifty in seven matches this summer, will be ousted. Alex Hales and Gary Ballance both averaged below 30 against Pakistan and are also vulnerable to the axe.
Although the bowling department is more sturdy, additional spin options will be sought to supplement Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.
Here are three new faces that could be in with an outside chance of selection based on their county form:
The first two spinning options in the side look sewn up by Ali and Rashid. However, a back-up is still required and coach Trevor Bayliss has even floated the idea of playing three tweakers in Asia.
Rayner is in fine recent form for Middlesex, has taken 33 County Championship wickets in just nine outings this season and has 10 fifties and two hundreds in his career with the bat.
It feels like the Somerset veteran has been spoken about as a potential England batsman for much of his career. Now 31, it may seem like the ship carrying his first international cap has long since sailed, but there’s an argument that the middle order could do with an older, steadier head.
The Milton Keynes native has a career average of 44.48 in the County Championship and has 798 Division One runs to his name this season.
Alastair Cook bemoaned top-order failings on the conclusion of the drawn Pakistan series, which could leave Alex Hales vulnerable in Bangladesh and India if he’s indeed selected for the tours at all.
Duckett would be a slightly left-field selection if the skipper’s current opening partner is jettisoned, but would be a wise choice as a back-up in which he could gain experience of being around an international squad.
An opening, left-handed batsman who can also keep wicket, Duckett can cover a number of roles in the team. He also has some eye-catching performances this season adding weight to his case. The most notable of which came in a one-day game for the England Lions against Sri Lanka, where he scored 220 not out.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.