Following Alex Hales’ axing from the England squad, the selectoral hierarchy have made some amendments to the party for the upcoming internationals.
Firstly, there’s a recall for the potentially destructive Ben Duckett. Following a move from Northamptonshire to Nottinghamshire, Duckett hasn’t been consistent this season but from time to time has produced the sort of innings that can get people licking their lips. He’s had his own moments of madness but was reintegrated in the winter and it’s encouraging to see him in the frame.
Dawid Malan is another recalled left-hander and he’ll hope to actually get on the pitch unlike in the West Indies. Despite the burden of captaincy as well as opening for Middlesex in List A cricket, he’s been in good form this year.
Next up is James Vince. Ed Smith didn’t sound all too enthused about Vince’s ability when his first move as England selector was to drop the Hampshire skipper but Vince has responded well. Last year, both at home and in the Big Bash, he made match-winning contributions. He’s begun this year well though his 190 against Gloucestershire was scored against an attack far removed from what either Pakistan or Australia will offer.
Duckett and Malan come into the squads for the Ireland ODI and Pakistan T20I. Vince was already in those squads and now stays on for the Pakistan ODIs.
Disclaimer: There is a downside to all this. The absence of Duckett, Malan and Vince from the county scene for a week or two has completely scuppered my fantasy teams!