DOM Bess and Jack Leach have been named in a strong England Lions squad to take on India A in a four-day First Class match at New Road, Worcester, starting next week.
It means the two Somerset spinners could find themselves head-to-head for a place in the Test squad to face India later this summer.
Bess made his England debut against Pakistan in May after Leach suffered a broken thumb batting in the nets. The young off-spinner failed to claim a wicket at Lord’s, but did well with the bat before taking three for 33 in the Second Test at Headingley.
The unlucky Leach, who looked set to start the summer as England’s first choice spinner, is currently recovering from concussion, suffered when struck by a ball in the Specsavers County Championship match against Surrey at Guildford.
He will be hoping the Lions game, which clashes with Somerset’s Vitality Blast game against Middlesex at Lord’s on July 19, gives him the opportunity to stake a fresh claim for a Test Match place.
Alastair Cook and Dawid Malan have been included in the Lions squad to get some red-ball practice before the series against India.
England Lions: Alastair Cook, Rory Burns, Nick Gubbins, Dawid Malan, Ollie Pope, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Dom Bess, Matthew Fisher, Jack Leach, Jamie Porter.