James Anderson and Stuart Broad are set to return to the Test set-up this summer, revealed new England men’s director of cricket Rob Key earlier this week.
But which quicks will join them as Ben Stokes takes the reins? England handed debuts to Saqib Mahmood and Matthew Fisher in the Caribbean – who might follow them in making a debut later this year?
His brother Craig has already played eight Tests, but Jamie has long been tipped for higher honours too. Quicker than Craig, Jamie took just six first-class wickets in 2021, his first full season with Surrey, and has endured trouble with injury over the years. But he began this summer with a new and improved run-up, and eight wickets in a win over Hampshire at The Oval. He exhibited significant pace, too, and has been clocked at 90mph this season.
Cook has developed a reputation as one of county cricket’s most reliable performers. After 17 Bob Willis Trophy wickets in 2020 at an average of 18.70, the right-armer took 58 County Championship scalps at 14.43 last year. He was initially omitted from England Lions’ squad for last winter’s tour of Australia, and while though later added, he failed to play. Nonetheless, the 24-year-old remains Essex’s lead quick and continues to thrive on the domestic circuit.
Potts has enjoyed an eye-catching start to the season, taking six-fors against Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire at Chester-le-Street. In recent years, Potts has made more of an impression with the white ball – his 49 T20 wickets have come at 22.46 and he landed a PSL contract with Lahore Qalandars earlier this year – but he finally seems to have nailed down a red-ball spot at Durham.
After a nightmare run with back stress fractures saw him briefly quit the game in 2018, Topley has found a way back, not only impressing in county cricket but in England’s white-ball sides too. But he doesn’t want to just focus on white-ball cricket; he’s impressed with the red ball too, taking six wickets at The Oval last week to help Surrey to victory over Somerset. “[Test cricket is] still the pinnacle,” he recently told Wisden.com. “I’d love that opportunity but I have to create the narrative around me that I should play.”
Norwell played for England Lions against Australia A last December and managed to take a five-wicket haul to round off a year in which he helped Warwickshire to the County Championship title. But he’s had an unfortunate start to the summer. A back spasm ruled Norwell out of his side’s season opener against Surrey and he was subbed out with concussion against Essex after being struck by a bouncer.
A knee injury in Australia ended Carse’s winter in November, and he’s yet to play in the County Championship this summer. He’s returned to second XI action, however, and attracted admirers last year when he showcased sharp pace in his debut ODI series against Pakistan. He was rewarded for his efforts with figures of 5-61 at Edgbaston to seal a 3-0 series win.