England cricket: Players knocking on the international door ahead of a busy summer


The grandson of England great Denis Compton, a leg-spinner selectors seem allergic to pick and an Essex all-rounder… who’s knocking on the door ahead of a busy summer featuring THREE home Test series?

  • Batsman Ben Compton has begun the new season with a bang for Kent 
  • Leg-spinner Matt Parkinson recently took seven wickets for Lancashire
  • Matt Critchley began with 132 from 179 balls, plus four for 114, against Kent

England are considering their options after the much-heralded ‘red-ball reset’ ended in a disappointing Test series defeat by West Indies and Joe Root stepping down as captain.

With Rob Key now at the helm, England will be seeking to lift the gloom during a busy summer schedule featuring Test series against New Zealand, India and South Africa.

Here, Sportsmail’s LAWRENCE BOOTH highlights five players pushing for a call-up.

Ben Compton, grandson of England great Denis, has begun new season with a bang for Kent

Ben Compton, Kent

South African-born grandson of England great Denis and cousin of former Test opener Nick, he averaged 11 for Nottinghamshire last summer. 

But he has begun the new season with a bang for Kent: opening the batting, he made 129 against Essex, followed by 104 not out and 115 against Lancashire. At 28, he is nearing his peak.

Tom Haines, Sussex

Just 23, he enjoyed a profitable 2021, averaging 47 for a struggling Sussex side.

Started this season with a half century against a strong Notts attack, followed by a mammoth 243 to help his side save the game after following on against Derbyshire.

Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson took seven wickets in the recent victory over Kent

Lancashire leg-spinner Matt Parkinson took seven wickets in the recent victory over Kent

James Bracey, Gloucestershire

Starting with 113 for England Lions against Australia A in Brisbane in December, he has now made three centuries in five first class innings. 

The selectors may be tempted to give him another go after a disappointing first crack against New Zealand last summer.

Matt Parkinson, Lancashire

Leg-spinner England seem allergic to pick took seven wickets in the victory over Kent, including a beautiful leg-break to bowl Daniel Bell-Drummond. 

He also outfoxed Test opener Zak Crawley. But can England find room for him in home conditions alongside Jack Leach?

Matt Critchley, Essex

All it took for Critchley, a leg-spinning all-rounder, to earn whispers about a Test cap was to move from unfashionable Derbyshire to recent county champions Essex.

Began with 132 from 179 balls, plus four for 114, against Kent. Now very much on the selectors’ radar.

Essex all-rounder Matt Critchley is now very much on the England selectors¿ radar

Essex all-rounder Matt Critchley is now very much on the England selectors’ radar

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