Reece Topley and James Vince will be the new faces in England’s limited-overs squad for next week’s one-off NatWest International Twenty20 against New Zealand.
Essex left-arm seamer Topley and Hampshire batsman Vince are the only two names, in a 13-man squad announced yesterday, who are not already involved in the ongoing Royal London Series.
The pair come into contention to play at Old Trafford next Tuesday, in a squad dominated by those taking on the Kiwis in a one-day international series level at 2-2 with one more match to play at Chester-le-Street on Saturday. Eoin Morgan will lead the team again in Manchester, where Topley – uncapped in any format – will be one of five alongside Vince in the reckoning for a Twenty20 debut.
National selector James Whitaker said: “This match against New Zealand allows us another opportunity to look at players relatively new to international cricket as we look to build a squad for the World T20 in India this winter.
“The squad is made up of players who have demonstrated their ability in domestic cricket and fully deserve a chance to continue their progress against a very good New Zealand side.
“We have already seen our limited-overs cricket begin to move in the right direction – which is exciting – but we are all aware we have plenty more to do if we are going to challenge the very best sides in the world on a regular basis.”
There is no Twenty20 place for either of Somerset’s Overton twins, Craig and Jamie, brought into England’s ODI squad this week after injuries to seamers Chris Jordan and Liam Plunkett.
Middle-order batsman James Taylor, included in the ODI squad but yet to play in the series, is also absent from the T20 list.
Steven Finn, meanwhile, is relieved and delighted that England are delivering at last on their best intentions in ODIs.
The fast-bowling linchpin of the hosts’ current campaign regrets that World Cup captain Morgan was collectively let down in a series of hapless performances last winter.
As they prepare for a decider against New Zealand this weekend, Finn can speak from a position of comparative strength about England’s latest 50-over escapades.
An all-time series record number of runs is in the offing at Chester-le-Street, where an astounding aggregate of more than 3,000 is almost assured between two teams level at 2-2 after another feast of boundaries at Trent Bridge.
There, Finn’s figures of 1-51 in 10 overs deserved an asterisk for context as he and Mark Wood recorded the only frontline analyses under seven an over on either side.
“We’ve talked a lot about playing with a carefree attitude and with freedom – we talked a lot about it in the winter but never did it,” he said.
“We talked about what we wanted to do in the World Cup. We sat in front of you guys and said we wanted to play with freedom, smiles on our faces.
“We didn’t do it. I can’t put my finger on why. So it’s great that four games in a row now, win or lose, we’ve played with that attitude.”
England T20 squad (v New Zealand at Old Trafford on June 23): Morgan (capt), Billings, Buttler (wkt), Finn, Hales, Rashid, Root, Roy, Stokes, Topley, Vince, Willey, Wood.