Monday, March 5th, 2018

Clarke And Lions Looking To Bounce Back From Test Series Whitewash

Joe Clarke and England Lions will be striving to bounce back from a Test whitewash against West Indies A in the three game ODI Series in Antigua which starts tomorrow (March 6).

The Worcestershire batsman and his team-mates were beaten 3-0 and head coach Andy Flower is looking for his young players to find “a solution to spin.”

Now they switch to white ball mode for the first game on Tuesday (March 6) and the remainder of the series on March 9 and 11.

Clarke was one of only three Lions players – along with Paul Coughlin and Nick Gubbins – to register a half century in the ‘Test’ series with his 56 in the second game at Kingston.

The 21-year-old ended the series with 116 runs at 19.33 with Haseeb Hameed (167), Coughlin (133), Keaton Jennings (127) and Gubbins (117) just ahead of him.

Clarke now needs just 17 more runs to reach 3,000 in his first class career, his 2,983 to date achieved at an average of 41.43.

Flower felt his batting line-up would learn a lot from the spin-friendly conditions they have been encountering in the Caribbean.

He said: “The purpose of the Lions scheme is to bridge the gap between County cricket and International cricket, test the players in conditions they are not accustomed to and also gain knowledge about the players to help inform selection.

“We want to see what the players are made of and how good they are under pressure. This was strong opposition with 92 Test caps in their squad compared to 14 in ours.

“It’s exactly the type of challenge we want to put in front of our youngsters. This series has given us the opportunity to really learn about these batsmen in alien conditions.”

Lions one-day squad: K Jennings (capt), J CLARKE (WORCESTERSHIRE), S Curran (Surrey), J Porter (Essex), P Coughlin (Nottinghamshire), S Mahmood (Lancashire), N Gubbins (Middlesex), A Davies (Lancashire, wk), S Northeast (Hampshire), D Bess (Somerset), M Parkinson (Lancashire), M Critchley (Derbyshire), R Gleeson (Northamptonshire), T Roland-Jones (Middlesex), S Hain (Warwickshire).

*Clarke was dismissed for seven when batting at number three as the Lions defeated Antigua and Barbuda by 246 runs in a 50 over warm-up match for the ODI series.