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Sri Lanka vs England – Dan Lawrence backed to make international step up as Test debut looms

Sri Lanka vs England - Dan Lawrence backed to make

Dan Lawrence’s England debut has always been a matter of when, not if. At the age of 17, he became the third-youngest batsman to make a hundred in County Championship history, taking a strong Surrey attack for 161 at The Oval, and he has been marked out as a coming man ever since.

The best part of six years later, that day should arrive this week: barring a last-minute change of plans, Lawrence will win his Test cap, batting in the middle order in England’s first Test in Sri Lanka. He made a fluent 46 not out in an intra-squad warm-up game batting alongside Joe Root, and looks set to slot in at No. 5 on Thursday.

There has always been excitement about Lawrence, not least because of his tempo at the crease. His strike rate in first-class cricket – a shade over 50 – does not tell the full story: much as he has the capacity to play long innings, his unorthodox, wristy technique, his fluency, and his ability against spin make him one of the best young batsmen to watch in the English game.

“I think he’s ready,” Chris Silverwood, England’s head coach and Lawrence’s Essex coach until 2017, said on Sunday. “I’ve known Dan for a long time now, having coached Essex’s second team when he was coming through there. He’s a great character and a fighter, with lots of skill there as well. Should he get the nod, we’ve got every confidence he can be successful.

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