May 20, 2022, 8:50

    Uncapped England Test prospect hailed as “the best in the country at the moment”

    Uncapped England Test prospect hailed as “the best in the country at the moment”

    Harry Brook has been tipped to make his England Test debut this summer by Yorkshire head coach Ottis Gibson, who believes the 23-year-old is "playing the best in the country at the moment".

    Brook is currently the leading run scorer in division one of County Championship, having scored 635 runs at an average of 158.75. In six innings, he has scored three hundreds and three half-centuries, building on a solid 2021 season that saw him average just under 40.

    The Yorkshire star made his T20I debut for England earlier this year and could also earn a Test call-up, with the number five spot open after new captain Ben Stokes confirmed he would be moving down the order to number six.

    Dan Lawrence and Jonny Bairstow are among the leading contenders to bat at five when England play their first Test of the summer against New Zealand at Lord's in June, having both impressed at number four and number six respectively against the West Indies.

    However, Lawrence is averaging just 19.60 for Essex in the County Championship and has missed their last two matches with a hamstring injury, while Bairstow is currently at the IPL and yet to play a first-class match this season.

    And after Brook followed up a brilliant 194 against Kent with a fluent 123 against Essex, Gibson has backed him to earn an England call-up. "I think he's playing the best in the country at the moment," he said.

    Harry Brook has been is averaging 158.75 in the County Championship this season

    Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

    "Brooky's scoring his runs at a run-a-ball, and although when he goes upstairs into the Test arena it might be different, he's playing really positively and putting the bowlers under pressure. He's made runs in every game we've played so far, in different conditions and at different times.

    "I keep saying that we won't see much of him [going forward] because he's playing so well, so therefore if they [England] are picking the best team, then they'll most likely be picking him. I think when you play cricket long enough – and he's only just started his career, obviously – you sometimes get into a purple patch like that, and for us and for him I just hope that continues."

    Dawid Malan has also tipped Brook to make his Test debut, saying: "Brooky's definitely got the talent. The development I've seen from him has been massive in terms of learning how to win games and how to play situations in the game. He's becoming a senior player who's learning on his feet."

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