The latest round of County Championship games throws up an intriguing match at Lords where Middlesex host Yorkshire in a game where many individuals will be out to impress the England selectors.
Yorkshire have made a solid start to the season as they currently sit in second place in Division 1 after a victory and a draw in their two games so far. Their good performances have largely been due to their batsmen scoring plenty of runs in both games.
Yorkshire have named a thirteen man squad which includes players such as Gary Ballance, Alex Lees, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett who will all be hoping to continue their strong starts to the season. Ballance will be the one who the England selectors will have an eagle eye on but others will be hoping to impress any onlookers. Certainly Alex Lees looks like a potential England prospect and the likes of Plunkett and Rashid will be hoping for further chances for England.
The one name that England supporters will be happy to see in the Yorkshire squad is that of Joe Root who looks to have recovered from the broken thumb that ruled him out of the Twenty20 World Cup and the start of Yorkshire's season. He looks set to play against Middlesex after playing for Yorkshire seconds against Lancashire this week, scoring 61 in their second innings.
Middlesex too have an abundance of talent on show. Youngster Sam Robson will be hoping to continue his good start to the season and Eoin Morgan will be looking to score some important runs to further enhance his chances of a return for England. It is rumoured that Robson could open the batting for England with Alistair Cook against Sri Lanka but will need to score runs consistently if this is to become reality.
Root, Robson, Ballance and Morgan could be competing directly against each other for a place in Peter Moores' first Test squad.
In the form of Steven Finn Middlesex have the most in-form bowler in the country. In just two Championship games Finn has secured 15 wickets with a five-wicket and a six-wicket haul included. The decision for him to return early from England's winter tour has certainly paid dividends and if he continues this form then the England selectors will find it very hard to leave out the 25 year-old.
This game looks set to be a crucial match for both counties as they look to challenge for the County Championship title but it is also critical for many of the individuals involved. All performances will be under severe scrutiny.
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