England Tour of Ireland 2013: Young Stars to Watch in Malahide

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England Tour of Ireland 2013: Young Stars to Watch in Malahide
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England take on Ireland in Malahide on Thursday, with their hosts sensing blood against what will be a relatively young and inexperienced English lineup.

Intriguingly, former Ireland international Eoin Morgan will captain England for the One-Day International fixture, with seamer Boyd Rankin, also set to have made the switch, included in the touring party.

The decision to include the duo will no doubt add spice to the encounter, while Ireland have also included a former England player in their squad in the form of batsman Ed Joyce.

For England, though, the match offers the opportunity to take a closer look at some fringe options ahead of coming encounters with Australia and the Ashes tour this winter.

 

Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)

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Zimbabwe-born batsman Ballance has enjoyed a magnificent 2013 season at county level and recently further increased his reputation with two centuries for England Lions against Bangladesh A and Australia.

His batting average for the summer tops 60 at present and his performances have been a major reason behind Yorkshire's challenge for the County Championship title. As a consequence, though, the White Roses will now have to get used to sharing Ballance with the England setup.

The game in Ireland offers further opportunity for the adopted Yorkshireman to further cement his status as one of the brightest talents in the English game. A good performance here and Ballance could well be an outside bet for a place on the Ashes tour to Australia this winter.

His name was brought up for possible inclusion at Test level earlier in the summer, with Kevin Pietersen struggling with injury during the home series with Australia. That call never came, but Ballance is very much on the selectors' radar.

 

Danny Briggs (Hampshire)

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Slow left arm spinner Danny Briggs is another to have been included in the England Lions one-day fixtures recently, as well as impressing for the senior England side in last week's Twenty20 fixtures with Australia.

Briggs has an outstanding strike rate in the short form of the game at county level and has shown glimpses of that ability with England sides this summer. There is, though, plenty more to come.

It is unlikely that Briggs will earn inclusion to tour Australia this winter, although a good performance here would clearly put him in the minds of the selectors. At just 22, he has a long career ahead of him.

Naturally a containing bowler, Briggs is able to keep things tight at one end if needed, but has also worked on becoming more aggressive with his lines recently.

 

Chris Jordan (Sussex)

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A somewhat surprise inclusion, Barbados-born fast-medium bowler Chris Jordan will have the opportunity to prove critics wrong on Tuesday, when he is likely to take the new ball for England.

Jordan is another to have earned his place with a good showing for the England Lions this summer, having taken 4/38 in a limited overs encounter with Bangladesh A at Taunton. Coming just months after his release from Surrey, his rise to prominence has been impressive.

Sussex manager Mark Robinson this week tipped the "explosive" Jordan to be brought into regular action for England's one-day side ahead of the 2015 World Cup, per BBC, having been a consistent performer at Hove.

A raw talent, despite being relatively experienced at 24, Jordan is also a wonderful fielder—a valuable asset in the short form of the game.

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