Published: 30th June, 2020
Five of the 30 men that are part of England’s training group ahead of July’s Test series with West Indies are Surrey players.
Rory Burns, Sam Curran, Ben Foakes, Ollie Pope & Amar Virdi are all in the Ageas Bowl bubble hoping to earn selection for the first Test starting on the 8 July.
All five were part of the 2018 squad that lifted the County Championship title and it’s only Virdi of this group who is yet to make his international bow.
Of these five players, four graduated through the Surrey Academy while a fifth former Surrey youngster, Dom Sibley now of Warwickshire, joins them in the training group.
It remains to be seen how many of Surrey’s five are in the lineup come the 8 July but their presence in this group proves they are all operating at the top end of the domestic game.
Without further ado, let’s look at the first-class stats of each player.
RORY BURNS – ENGLAND OPENER
Having made his Test debut out in Sri Lanka just a few weeks after lifting the Championship trophy, our resolute opener has made one of the two top spots his own. It’s been a long time coming for our Mr Consistent, the left-hander has scored more than 1000 first-class runs every year since 2014.
Since making his first-class debut for Surrey back in May 2011, Burns has played 132 red ball matches and scored his 9209 runs at an average 42.43. The vast majority of those runs have come from the top of the order, where it’s notoriously trickiest to bat as the ball is new and bowlers are fresh.
SAM CURRAN – ENGLAND’S GO TO MAN
The man for any occasion, Sam Curran has made a reputation for himself as the player to ‘make things happen’. After his June 2018 Test debut, he starred with bat and ball in a series win against India and was named Player of the Series.
It’s precisely that ability to take clutch wickets or change the course of an innings with the bat that has made Sam such an impressive international cricketer. He’s often opened the bowling in red ball cricket and batted in several positions in the middle order. As his 183 wickets and 2593 runs in 66 first-class matches show, he’s got everything to be a genuine all-rounder.
BEN FOAKES – ENGLAND’S BEST WITH THE GLOVES
Simply one of the best glovemen in the world game, Foakes is almost faultless behind the stumps every time Surrey go out to field. That consistency was finally rewarded with Test appearances in the winter of 2018/19 after countless Lions tours, as well as white-ball call ups.
Foakes has hit 5474 runs in his 172 innings, including a debut century for England in Sri Lanka, and continues to put pressure on the likes of Jos Buttler & Jonny Bairstow for the wicketkeeping role in the side.
OLLIE POPE – ENGLAND’S BRIGHT NEW HOPE
Taking to every step up like a duck to water, Pope really blossomed in the Test arena in South Africa earlier this year. His maiden Test century came during the series victory with his usual mix of technical brilliance and innovative flair.
It’s hard to believe his first-class career is only 37 matches old but scoring 2757 runs at an average of 59.93 shows just why Pope is so highly regarded at Surrey, in England and around the world.
AMAR VIRDI – ONE OF THE LEADING SPINNERS IN ENGLAND
The only one of the fabulous Surrey five who isn’t already a Test player, Virdi’s off spin was crucial to the 2018 County Championship title. The Surrey Academy graduate took 40 first-class wickets in what was his first full season of senior cricket in 2018.
Fitness issues plagued his 2019 but he still managed a match-winning 14 wickets at a Trent Bridge prepared with India’s Ravi Ashwin, who was playing for Nottinghamshire, in mind. Having trained hard through the winter and joined several Lions tours, Virdi is one of the spin options for England for this series.