Potts, making his Test debut in the first match of summer 2022, also against New Zealand at Lord’s, impressed with 20 wickets at 28.00 in his first five matches under the captaincy of Ben Stokes.
However, he did not feature in the last two matches of the summer against South Africa after Ollie Robinson returned to action, and was a surprising omission from the England squad for the Pakistan tour.
Meanwhile, Lawrence is back in the pack for the first time since the Caribbean tour last March, where his lively batting performances – including scores of 91 and 41 in Barbados – prove an early indication of the team’s future direction of travel. However, he suffered a dip in form for the Essex team in 2022, exacerbated by a hamstring injury.
He has a chance to be England’s spearhead of the trip, following the decision to rest Mark Wood following his key innings in the second and third Tests against Pakistan this month.
Wood, who has also been a key factor in England’s success in the T20 World Cup, is set to take a break from all international and franchise cricket in January to fully recover after a busy winter in all formats. He is expected to tour Bangladesh in March, with England playing three ODIs and three T20I matches, and is likely to be available for the IPL as well.
Rehan Ahmed, the 18-year-old England international in Karachi last week, was not included in the squad, as part of his management of the winter season. Instead, he is set to play for the Gulf Giants at the ILT20 in the UAE in January, and could be on the White Ball tour of Bangladesh as well.
Of the remainder of the squad that toured Pakistan, Liam Livingston missed the tour while recovering from the knee injury he sustained during the Rawalpindi Test, while Jimmy Overton and Keaton Jennings, two unused members of the squad, were also omitted.
With another year of competing demands looming for England’s versatile players, Joe Root is included in the tour, but will be restricted to a handful of games for Dubai Capitals in the ILT20 between now and then, as England look to manage his own workload before defending the finals. The World Cup Over 50 in India in November 2023.
England Test Team: Ben Stokes (Captain), James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zack Crawley, Ben Duquette, Ben Fox, Will Jack, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Olly Pope, Matthew Potts, Olly Robinson, Joe Root, Olly Stone
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