Remember the name, Dan Lawrence. Sir Alastair Cook was left “very impressed” by the England Test debutant against Sri Lanka and expects more to come from him following his comfortable opening innings.
Cook, who captained England between 2009 and 2017, is part of BBC Radio Five Live’s Test Match Special coverage of the second Test of Sri Lanka v England, but opened up on India’s stunning win over Australia in recent days.
Lawrence, 23, started his first Test match for England against Sri Lanka last week and made quite an impression with 73 off 150 balls in his first innings, and 21 off 52 (not out) in the second as the tourists cruised to victory.
Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com, Cook said: “Very impressed. I’ve seen a bit of him at Essex but I thought his adaptability to playing spin was very impressive, the way he played it.
“It wasn’t easy, I know Joe [Root] got a massive double hundred, but it wasn’t an easy pitch to bat on actually.
“The first 30-40 balls any time in the subcontinent is hard work but I think on that wicket it was very hard and he looked in control. He looked like he had plenty of options, he had a very clear game plan for the ball turning in and the ball turning away, so it was a brilliant debut.
“He looked at home. You never quite know how people are going to react to their first Test match but I thought he did a brilliant job in terms of going out and playing his way. He didn’t change his way and looked at home in those conditions.”
Cook is keen to not get too carried away after just one performance from Lawrence on the international stage, but believes England have a bright future when weighing up their batting line-up.
He said: “It’s only one game so I don’t want to get too carried away, but I’ve seen him play some brilliant innings for Essex, so I know he can play, but England are starting to get some real strength in depth in the middle order.
“Ollie Pope to come back, Rory Burns to come back, Ben Stokes adding to the mix, there are some players there to choose from. It’s absolutely brilliant.
“It’s a very talented batting line-up and I think the talent that Joe Root has at his disposal is huge. You see it in the white ball game, you’re starting to see it in the red ball as well now. It’s very exciting times for English cricket.”
England’s tour of Sri Lanka will be live on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Test Match Special until 26th January.
Check out our guide to Sri Lanka v England including a full TV and radio schedule.
If you’re looking for something else to watch check out our TV Guide.