England’s selectors will reveal the top-order batters pushing hardest for Test places later this week when they announce the squad who will provide Joe Root’s team with pre-Ashes opposition.
Alex Lees is to be recalled to the England Lions set-up more than six years after his last match, and another left-handed opener, Warwickshire’s Rob Yates, will also be asked to travel to Australia — along with county colleague Dom Sibley.
Lees, 28, averaged 39 in the County Championship with Durham last season and enjoyed a rich Royal London Cup campaign.
England’s selectors are set to announce a squad to provide Joe Root with pre-Ashes opposition
Yates’s return of five first-class hundreds this calendar year is better than anyone in world cricket other than Root.
Most significantly perhaps, the 22-year-old finished the home summer strongly, hitting an unbeaten 132 in the title-sealing win over Somerset and 113 against Lancashire in the Bob Willis Trophy final.
Those travelling to Australia will offer cover to the 17-man Ashes squad, with the Lions due to play a warm-up match against the full England team before the first Test in Brisbane on December 8 and remain on hand for around six weeks of the tour.
Alex Lees’ strong county form is set to be rewarded with an audition for Test selection