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Ashes 2023

Englandwatch: Fresh injury concerns, Potts puts forward Ashes case and a quiet week for the batters

by Wisden Staff 4 minute read

The first leg of the 2023 County Championship has come to an end with Surrey and Durham both extending their leads at the top of their respective Divisions.

The County Championship takes a break for a few weeks as the T20 Blast takes over in the domestic schedule; there is now no domestic first-class cricket pencilled in between now and the start of the Test summer.

Here’s how players selected in an England Test squad over the past 12 months fared in the latest round of fixtures:


Ollie Robinson: 4-29 & 1-46 vs Glamorgan

The headline news from the latest round of games was the injury scare suffered by Ollie Robinson. The Sussex seamer was spotted on crutches wearing a protective boot on his ankle and is set to undergo a scan on Monday to determine the severity of the injury. Jofra Archer has already been ruled out of the Ashes while there have also been recent injury concerns around James Anderson and Olly Stone, with the latter expected to miss the first two Tests of the summer at the very least; England will be desperate not to manage another injury in their fast-bowling unit.

Matt Potts: 3-43 & 3-52 vs Gloucestershire

A likely beneficiary of England’s fast-bowling injury woes is Matt Potts. Potts is the joint leading wicket-taker in the country so far this season and enjoyed another profitable round with Gloucestershire in the firing line this time as Durham secured their fourth win in six matches to extend their lead at the top of the Division Two table.

Ben Foakes: 17 & five catches vs Kent

A quiet week for Foakes in his first outing since his omission from England’s first squad of the summer.

Ollie Pope: 34 vs Kent

A frustrating week on a personal level for Pope, who clipped a fairly innocuous delivery from Kent debutant Arafat Bhuiyan to midwicket on 34.

Will Jacks: 24 & 0-8 vs Kent

A similarly quiet week for Jacks in Surrey’s victory at The Kia Oval. His 24 was scored at better than a run a ball as he also felt to Arafat who claimed an impressive four-wicket haul on debut.

Zak Crawley: 19 & 34 vs Surrey

A couple of starts that weren’t capitalised upon for Zak Crawley. It’s been a stop-start season so far for Crawley who was squared up and caught behind the wicket in both innings.

Sam Billings: 0 & 0 vs Surrey

A pair for the Kent captain as his grim season with the bat continues. Billings, who played Test cricket as recently as last summer, averages just 9.19 for Kent so far this summer.

Stuart Broad: 3-53 & 1-52 vs Essex

A steady outing for the veteran England seamer who is set to take part in his fifth home Ashes series later in the summer.

Craig Overton: 0-41 vs 5-46 vs Middlesex

Overton’s second-innings five-for was his first of the season. Overton, 29, last played Test cricket on England’s tour of the Caribbean in early 2022 and hasn’t featured in an England squad since the home South Africa series last summer. With the returns of Chris Woakes and Mark Wood – neither of whom played a Test in the 2022 summer – Overton is unlikely to feature in the Ashes but if England’s seam bowling concerns continue to mount, you can never say never.

Dan Lawrence: 16 & 52 vs Nottinghamshire

Lawrence finds himself in the England squad for the Ireland Test ahead of several batters with superior records both this season and across their careers but the Essex middle-order batter firmly fits within England’s new style. Lawrence is just a pulled hamstring away from potentially featuring in an Ashes Test having spent the entirety of the 2021/22 series sat on the bench.

Jack Leach: 2-22 & 2-41 vs Middlesex

Given the weather the UK has experienced over the past two months, spinners have played relatively peripheral roles up and down the country. Leach heads into the Test summer off the back of quietly impressive figures; he averages less than 30 with the ball and he is the joint leading wicket-taker among spinners in Division One alongside Simon Harmer.

Alex Lees: 41 & 40 vs Gloucestershire

A pair of brisk forties for Lees who has set the tone at the top of the order for Durham this season as Scott Borthwick’s side have looked to play positive, enterprising cricket.

Rehan Ahmed: 7 & 7 vs Worcestershire

The precocious leg-spinning all-rounder didn’t bowl a single over in Leicestershire’s defeat against Worcestershire.

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