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Liam Dawson is set to be announced in England’s World Cup squad.
The allrounder, Liam Dawson who bowls left-arm spin, last played an ODI in October 2018 and was not selected in the preliminary 15-member squad announced in April. However, rated as the third-best one-day spinner in the country, the 29-year-old has found himself parachuted in with over a week to go before England’s opening fixture against South Africa on May 30. The squad will be announced officially on Tuesday (May 21).
He will replace Joe Denly in the final 15. The Kent batsman who also bowls leg spin was unable to make a telling contribution in the Pakistan series. He was selected for three matches, one of which was washed out, and only bowled six overs and faced just 21 balls with the bat in the remaining two, going wicketless and scoring just 17 runs.
Meanwhile, Dawson took 18 wickets and scoring 271 runs in nine Royal London One-Day Cup matches for Hampshire
On Sunday, after England sealed a 4-0 series win against Pakistan at Leeds, head coach Trevor Bayliss talked up Dawson’s credentials as “the next best spinner” beyond starters Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid. While Denly is undoubtedly the superior batsman, it seems after a long selection meeting, which featured Bayliss, captain Eoin Morgan and selectors Ed Smith and James Taylor, it was decided Dawson would get the nod.
Two more changes to the preliminary 15 will be the inclusion of Jofra Archer for left-arm seamer David Willey and James Vince coming in to replace Alex Hales.
Archer has impressed with his temperament and, importantly, his ability to bowl consistently above 90mph. Though there was a possibility that the Sussex quick could come in for Denly, having six quick bowlers, plus Ben Stokes, was not something Bayliss in particular was a fan of.
Vince was drafted into the setup for the Pakistan series once news of Hales’ second failed drugs test had been made public. He batted twice for 76, with a top score of 43. The right-hander, though primarily a top three batsman in white ball cricket, offers effective cover in the middle order, too.