Harry Brook has four T20s to show England what they could be missing at the ODI World Cup after being left out of provisional squad for title defence in India
- England face New Zealand in four Twenty20 matches over the next week
- Harry Brook will then leave the squad ahead of their seven 50-over matches
- Brook has been controversially left out of England’s provisional World Cup squad
Harry Brook has the opportunity over the next week to show England what they will be missing if they go ahead with their controversial move to leave him out of the World Cup.
Brook plays on Wednesday at Durham in the first of four Twenty20 matches against New Zealand before leaving the squad ahead of the seven 50-over games squeezed into September that will complete England’s preparation for October’s World Cup in India.
England insist the 15 players selected for the first four of those 50-over games, also against New Zealand before a three-match series against Ireland which completes the summer, will also defend the World Cup, leaving their new all-format superstar on the sidelines.
But if Brook can provide more demonstrations of his outrageous talent at Durham, Old Trafford, Edgbaston and Trent Bridge against New Zealand it could yet force England into a World Cup re-think before they declare their final hand late in September.
Jos Buttler, at the forefront of the decision to leave out Brook once Ben Stokes made himself available for the World Cup, insists there is nothing for the Yorkshireman to prove in the resumption of the international season after the completion of the Hundred.
Harry Brook has the opportunity over the next week to show England what they will be missing
Brook smashed a stunning 42-ball century during the Hundred for Norther Superchargers
‘We all know what a fantastic player he is,’ said the England white-ball captain of the man who smashed a 42-ball century during the Hundred for Northern Superchargers against Welsh Fire. ‘He’s unfortunate to miss out on selection at this stage but, we’ve been saying it for a long time, in English white-ball cricket we have a lot of depth.
‘Young players coming through and pushing for places has been the hallmark of this team over the last few years. It’s natural that good players miss out because that’s what happens with good teams.‘
There is, of course, no suggestion England should have left out Stokes once it became clear he was prepared to reverse his 50-over retirement and defend the World Cup trophy he did so much to win in that unforgettable final against New Zealand in 2019.
‘It’s great for cricket to have a superstar like Ben Stokes at a World Cup,’ said Buttler at Chester-le-Street. ‘You want to see those players in major showpiece events and it’s fantastic he’s made himself available.
‘It’s a no-brainer that you want a player of that calibre back in the team because of the impact he has in every game he plays.’
But two players named in both the Twenty20 squad and England’s provisional World Cup party in Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone could do with some decent performances against New Zealand, even in the shorter format, to cement their places and stop pressure on the selectors over the omission of Brook mounting.
England hoped to look at new bowling options with extra pace in this T20 series but both John Turner, a surprise pick after impressing with Hampshire, and Josh Tongue have both pulled out with injuries.
Brydon Carse and Chris Jordan replace them while England will be careful with new pace selection Gus Atkinson after his workload with Surrey and in the Hundred with Oval Invincibles.
Brook plays on Wednesday at Durham in the first of four T20 matches against New Zealand
POSSIBLE ENGLAND SIDE V NEW ZEALAND AT DURHAM
Buttler (captain and keeper), Bairstow, Malan, Brook, Moeen, Livingstone, Jacks, S Curran, Rashid, Carse, L Wood.
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