Cow Corner

Who are England’s young guns?

Cow Corner

View gallery

.

One of the
limitations of England having such a settled side is that there is much less
debating about who might come in and replace the failing players. A small downside,
granted, but a limitation nonetheless.

But
England's game against Ireland in Dublin on Thursday could provide a first close look for
many at some of the faces who may come to take their places in the national
side over the next decade.

By all
accounts, the future is rosy. The England Performance Programme is nurturing
a number of talented players who are lighting up the county scene at a young
age, and the county game itself is providing a stiffer test to players than it
used to, meaning that the players are coming into the international arena
better perpared for its rigours.

And of
course with an England team performing well, the task to dislodge the
established players will be harder than ever, creating (the selectors hope) an
environment where you have to do something extraordinary to have realistic
hopes of representing your country.

So who are
the youngsters that England are turning to for this clash? Cow Corner runs the
rule over five of the squad's most promising new talents.

View gallery

.
JAMES TAYLOR

Right-hand batsman, Leicestershire, aged 21.

Taylor has
been tipped as one of England's potential stars from an early age. Standing
just 5 foot 5 - similar in build to a young Sachin Tendulkar - he does not look
imposing when he strides out to the crease. He is, however, blessed with a full
array of shots, and won the Cricket Writers' Club Young Player of the Year
award when still in his teens.

He has
featured regularly for England Lions, including captaining the team against Sri
Lanka A recently, and responded with two impressive half-centuries in a
four-day game, before adding tons in two of the three one-dayers between the
sides. Despite a settled batting line-up in the current England team, he is
making a compelling case to be squeezed in on England's winter tour.

Something you might not know about him

James
Taylor's first-class and limited-over averages are better than those of any
current England batsman.

Averages

First-class:
60 matches, 4291 runs at 50.48 - List A: 48 matches, 1785 runs at 51.00

View gallery

.
CHRIS WOAKES

Bowling all-rounder (right-arm fast medium),
Warwickshire, aged 22

Woakes is
the only one of the five featured players to have represented England before,
having travelled to Australia to play in three one-day internationals, while he has also
played three T20 internationals for his country. A seam bowler and impressive
lower-order batsman with four first-class centuries to his name already, there
is a touch of Stuart Broad to his style of play. He has already demonstrated a
remarkable temperament, hitting the winning runs from the final ball of his
first England appearance, and despite drifting out of international reckoning,
he has been exceptional in county cricket this term, averaging 49.3 with the
bat and taking 48 wickets at 18.25 with the ball so far.

Something you might not know about him

Woakes
recorded figures of six for 45 against Australia in his second one-day
international for England - the second-best bowling return by an
Englishman in more than forty years of one-day cricket.

Averages

First-class: 58 matches, 1916 runs at 33.03,
215 wickets at 23.92 - List A: 54 matches, 383 runs at17.40, 56 wickets at
33.14

View gallery

.
JONNY BAIRSTOW

Right-hand batsman and wicketkeeper, Yorkshire,
aged 21

Bairstow
is, in theory, a wicketkeeper, but so highly is his batting rated that he has
earned his first call-up to the England squad as a batsman alone, with Craig
Kieswetter retaining the gloves. Bairstow has been a regular at Yorkshire for
the best part of three seasons already, having made the case for his elevation
to the first team after averaging in the 60s with the bat as an 18-year-old for
the seconds. Bairstow, like the others to be called up, has been involved with
the England Performance Programme, monitoring and developing the best young
talent in the game, and toured the Caribbean with the England Lions earlier in
the year, again as a specialist batsman.

Something you might not know about him

Bairstow
comes from a cricketing family - his father David played four Tests for England
as wicketkeeper 30 years ago, as well as having a long and successful career at
Yorkshire, while brother Andy, also a keeper, managed three games for
Derbyshire.  

Averages

First-class:
44 matches, 2798 runs at45.86 - List A: 48 matches, 555 runs at 25.22

View gallery

.
BEN STOKES

Left-hand batsman, Durham, aged 20 - also
bowls medium pace

The
youngest of the new call-ups, Stokes was still a teenager just three months
ago. The 20-year-old was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, and his father
played international rugby league for the country. Having grown up as a
teenager in the north of England, Stokes was soon on the books at Durham,
making his bow for the side in the 2010 County cricket curtain-raiser for the
champions against the MCC, making a confident 50 and taking wickets to boot.
His stock has risen rapidly, a powerful batsman who has already hit five sixes
in an over against Hampshire,  and has
career-best bowling figures of six for 68 with nagging medium-pace.

Something you might not know about him

With his
third ball in senior cricket, Stokes dismissed veteran Surrey batsman and
Strictly Come Dancing twinkletoes Mark Ramprakash.

Averages

First-class:
28 matches, 1615 runs at 43.64, 28 wickets at 37.35 - List A: 24 matches, 664
runs at 31.61, 14 wickets at 14.78

View gallery

.
SCOTT BORTHWICK

Right-hand batsman, and leg-break bowler, Durham,
aged 21.

His call-up
may be a little early, but England would love little more than to unearth the
next great leg-spinner in an era where wrist spinners are struggling on the
international scene. And despite being carted by Essex batsman James Foster for
five sixes in a row in the early days of his career in 2009, the Durham man has
hinted at having the talent and mettle for the biggest stage.  He's had opportunities to learn from the some
of the greats, talking to Shane Warne and having Mushtaq Ahmed on the coaching
staff with England - and following the national team's blueprint for being
multi-skilled, Borthwick is a capable batsman as well as a leg-break bowler.

Something you might not know about him

The last
leg-spinner to be handed a chance by England, Adil Rashid, has taken 21 wickets
at 20.33 in limited-overs games for Yorkshire. He's now something of a veteran
at the age of 23 - but perhaps that serves to illustrate the potential the
selectors see in Borthwick.

Averages

First-class:
26 matches, 793 runs at 29.37, 53 wickets at 30.77 - List A: 18 matches, 35
runs at 11.66, 12 wickets at 43.25

View Comments (0)