England begin their summer of Test cricket next month when they entertain South Africa in a four-match series before facing the West Indies for a series of three matches across the country. Joe Root will begin his campaign as captain of the side following the resignation of Alastair Cook back in February.
With an Ashes series taking place later in the year, England will be keen to shine this summer against quality opposition. Here are four players who will be pushing for a call-up into the Test squad.
Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire)
Lancashire opening batsman Haseeb Hameed made his debut for England against India last November. He went onto score 219 runs in three matches on the tour. Despite those performances, the youngster has yet to establish himself as a regular in the squad. This summer could be opportunity to do that ahead of the Ashes. His form in County Cricket has not been great recently; however, he did score 88 against Leicestershire earlier in the campaign. His ability to bowl leg breaks is also a useful asset for England therefore he is likely to be asked to open the batting again for his country against South Africa.
Ben Coad (Yorkshire)
Yorkshire bowler Ben Coad has made an excellent start to his County Championship campaign, with the highlight coming in the Clash of the Roses game at Headingley where he picked up eight wickets across the two innings in his side’s victory. The right-arm fast-medium seamer has a bright future and it is surely only a matter of time before England decide to take a chance on the Yorkshireman. The two home Test series this summer may be the perfect time rather than waiting for the Ashes for him to make his debut. England will be favourites to beat South Africa and the West Indies with the bookmakers and if you are looking to have a punt on those games, bitcoin betting on sport will be available at SportsBet.io so you can transfer funds of any currency to a digital wallet.
James Vince (Hampshire)
James Vince has not played for England since his disappointing series against Pakistan last summer which ended a run of seven Test matches where he could only average 19.27. Since then he has returned to the County Championship and his side, Hampshire, are flying in 2017 where they top the standings following a recent victory over Warwickshire. The 23-year-old is young enough to return to international cricket and he may get the opportunity against South Africa to prove he can transfer his domestic form to the national team.
Dan Lawrence (Essex)
Essex’s Dan Lawrence first caught the eye in County cricket when he became the third youngest batsman to score a century in 2015 with his knock of 161. Since then the 19-year-old has continued to impress, including recently with an innings of 116 against Surrey at Chelmsford which brought up his sixth century in first-class cricket. There were calls for Lawrence to be included in the winter tour of India but he just missed out. The selectors have to decide if now is the right time to hand him his first Test cap.
England’s opening Test against South Africa will take place on July 6 at Lord’s, with the second match scheduled to take place just eight days later at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.