Somerset’s Lewis Gregory is set to make his England debut in the Royal London One-Day International against Ireland in Malahide, Dublin tomorrow (Friday).
England captain James Taylor expects Ireland to give his inexperienced England side a “massive test”.
Taylor will skipper England for the very first time, in the absence of Eoin Morgan, and could have as many as five players making their international debuts under his guidance, including Plymouth-born Gregory.
The captain has a strong belief in the emerging talent that the selectors have turned to, but is also aware of the threat Ireland pose.
The Irish again proved their growing status on the international stage when they narrowly missed out on reaching the group stages of the World Cup.
The Ireland squad for tomorrow’s game includes a Somerset player of their own in Dublin-born spinner George Dockrell, himself a veteran of 48 one-day internationals.
“They showed what talent they have got in the World Cup against some good teams out there,” Taylor told ecb.co.uk.
“They played really well and they’ve got a number of guys who have played a number of years in county cricket.
“We know it is going to be a massive test but I’ve got the guys behind me with exceptional talent that are going to give them a good run for their money.”
As well as Gregory, David Willey, James Vince, Sam Billings and Zafar Ansari are all uncapped at international level, while the hard-hitting Jason Roy has played just one Twenty20 international.
Taylor is looking forward to how the young-guns fare as England begin the start of a new four-year cycle before the next World Cup on home soil.
“There are plenty of fresh faces and some young and exciting talent the whole way through the squad,” he said.
“The guys have performed exceptionally well at the start of the season already so it’s going to be really exciting.
“I think it is a fresh start and a new era for England cricket. We can park the World Cup and put that firmly behind us and look forward to a fresh start.”
Gregory already has two five-wicket hauls in the County Championship to his name this season, following a winter with the England Potential England Performance Programme (PEPP) in Loughborough and South Africa.
All of us at The Incider wish Lewis the very best for tomorrow’s game and hope he enjoys the experience. He fully deserves his chance.
Read how we reported Lewis’ England call-up, including quotes from him and Matt Maynard here: https://www.thein-cider.co.uk/gregory-excited-and-honoured-by-england-call-up/
England ODI squad in full: James Taylor (c) (Nottinghamshire), Zafar Ansari (Surrey), Jonny Bairstow (wk) (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Lewis Gregory (Somerset), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), James Vince (Hampshire), David Willey (Northamptonshire), Mark Wood (Durham).