Reigning ICC Cricket World Cup champion England have transformed into a formidable force in the white-ball formats. Coupled with their ultra attacking approach and the exuberance of youth, England have established themselves as one of the favourites for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup as well. Since their 2015 World Cup debacle, Eoin Morgan has led the side with aplomb in the shorter formats of the game.
With the next cycle already underway, England have seemingly moved on from their heroic exploits at the 50-over World Cup last year. In the handful of white-ball cricket they have played since their maiden World Cup win, England have fielded young players with an eye towards the future.
While the likes of Tom Curran and Sam Curran look to cement their places in the roster, there are a few young players who could play a significant role for England in the coming years. Here are the top five young prospects under the age of 23, who could have an impact in the longer run. While there are a few youngsters who have featured heavily for England, only uncapped players and players with less than 10 international caps have been considered.
# 1: Tom Banton
Perhaps the most exciting young batsman in the county circuit, Tom Banton has all the shots in the book. Likened to Kevin Pietersen owing to a similarity in batting style, Banton bats at the top of the order in the shorter formats. Although Banton is young in terms of cricketing experience, he is already on his way to stardom.
The Somerset opener broke out last season with stellar performances in the T20 Blast and Royal London One Day Cup. On the back of such returns, Banton earned contracts in the T10 League and Big Bash League. Banton revelled in the T10 League where he scored 162 runs in five games. His explosive batting style was on show for the Brisbane Heat as well, for whom he plundered 223 runs at a strike-rate of 176.98.
While Banton has played three ODIs and T20Is each, he has an uphill task to dethrone the likes of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow. Although Banton is adept at playing in the middle order as well, a player of his potential is best suited at the top of the order. With the young opener already earning an IPL contract at the age of 21, Tom Banton could well star in the upcoming ICC events for England.
# 2: Dom Bess
Another Somerset starlet, Dom Bess has had a decent start to his international career. Although he has only featured in the Test format for England, Bess has a lot of potential to be one of England's leading spinners. The off-spinner impressed against South Africa with figures of 5/51 at St. George's Park earlier in the year. In addition to his relentless off-spin, he is a handy batsman as well, adding depth to the batting unit.
However, there is room for improvement for Dominic Bess in the white-ball formats. With Roelof van der Merwe and Max Waller handling the spin duties in the shorter formats, Bess hasn't had too many opportunities to push his stake for a place in the side.
In the games he has featured in, Bess hasn't quite taken off, mostly due to the conditions in England. Given how his Test career has panned out so far, Bess looks set to add a lot of wickets to his current tally of 11 wickets in four games. With his all-round ability also fitting the T20 bill perfectly, he could be a perfect back-up for Moeen Ali.
Although it could take some time before Bess breaks into the England white-ball set-up, he is more than capable of holding his own against the best in the business. With Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Liam Dawson on the wrong side of 30, Dominic Bess could be a reliable spin option for England.
# 3: Matthew Parkinson
Speaking of young spinners, one player who has already played in a few ODIs and T20Is is Matthew Parkinson. The young leggie has been impressive in the T20 Blast with Lancashire. Parkinson has 65 wickets in 38 T20s at an impressive average of 15.03. His ability to toss the ball up without any repercussions holds him in good stead.
On the back of his stunning T20 Blast performances, Parkinson was signed by the Melbourne Stars although he couldn't turn up for them due to injury. Parkinson made his T20I debut in New Zealand and impressed almost immediately. The leggie picked a four-fer in his second T20I, with his googly troubling the Kiwi batsman.
With leg-spin playing a significant part in T20 cricket, Matt Parkinson fits the bill in Eoin Morgan's England set-up. Although Parkinson doesn't provide the same batting depth as fellow leggie Adil Rashid does, the wrist spinner more than makes up for it with the ball in hand.
Alongside Bess, Parkinson was named in the Test squad for Sri Lanka before the COVID-19 pandemic brought all sporting action to a standstill. With Parkinson ticking most boxes, England has an exciting leg-spinning prospect in their hands.
# 4: Pat Brown
Another promising bowler in England's arsenal of pacers, Pat Brown is quite different from the likes of Tom Curran and Mark Wood. Brown was instrumental in Worcestershire's rise in the T20 Blast, who nearly defended their championship last year.
In 40 T20s, Brown has picked up 52 wickets. Although his economy rate of 8.32 might be on the higher side, Brown generally bowls in the death overs to some of the best in the business.
Like Parkinson, he also made his T20 debut against New Zealand last year. Despite playing four games, Brown failed to fully capitalise on the opportunity, taking only three wickets to show for his efforts.
Similar to Ben Laughlin, Brown relies heavily on his slower ones and his ability to nail the yorker at the death. These skills earned him contracts in the T10 League and the Big Bash League last season. However, Brown didn't have the best of times in the T10 league Abu Dhabi while an injury ruled him out of the Big Bash in 2019-20.
Although the 21-one-year-old has a long way to go in his career, Brown's death-bowling skills and ability to perform under pressure has already turned heads. While the likes of Chris Jordan and Jofra Archer are the frontrunners to lead the T20I bowling attack for England, Pat Brown's domestic performances for Worcestershire makes him a reliable back up to the duo mentioned above.
With another quality white-ball pacer in the making, England looks well-equipped for the future.
# 5: Daniel Lawrence
The only uncapped player on this list, Daniel Lawrence is an attacking batsman, who is adept at batting in both the top and middle order. Along with his batting prowess, Lawrence is a more than handy off-spinner for Essex. The youngster has established himself as a vital cog in the Essex roster with his excellent performances. Although the youngster didn't have the best of T20 Blast seasons last year, he did chip in with a few handy knocks en route to the final.
His performances were noticed with the Deccan Gladiators signing him up for the T10 League last year. Lawrence had a decent campaign with his best performance coming in the Eliminator where he scored 33 runs off just 13 balls.
Lawrence is a regular in the England Lions side as well with his last stint being highly successful. The Essex allrounder topped the run-scoring charts with 367 runs in the tests, scoring a brilliant 190 against CA XI being the high point. He impressed in the limited-overs leg too with 126 runs at a strike-rate of 96.18.
Although England's batting stocks are heavily stacked with quality batsmen, Daniel Lawrence offers an additional spin option as well. Given his ability to play under pressure standing out last season, Lawrence could be called up as a backup for Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan. With Ravi Bopara shifting bases from Essex to Sussex, there is added responsibility upon Lawrence's shoulders in the upcoming season, which could definitely be a defining point in his promising career.