Two to Follow

With the county season under way - in the type of weather which probably won't be seen again for months - players are immediately stepping forward to show their hands.

It's well-known that the England selectors are partial to the odd player born outside the UK, and, while they've tended to come from South Africa rather than New Zealand in recent years, it's been obvious for a while that Ben Stokes has something, and his six cheap wickets and a brutal century for Durham at the Rose Bowl over the weekend underlined his potential. I think it's probably too early to regard him as a serious contender for the England side, but he's on the radar, and he won't be going away anytime soon.

Adil Rashid is better known. His eleven wickets for Yorkshire in their crushing away win over Worcestershire may have indicated that he's taken a few steps forward since last season - and his experiences playing for South Australia won't have done him any harm - but he'll need a lot more of the same to convince the selectors that he's worth a punt. Especially as Graeme Swann is one of the first names on the England team-sheet and they're not exactly lacking in seam-bowling strength either.

Isn't it great to have a decent English leggie to keep an eye on, though?

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