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Parsons pleased with talent pool

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David Parsons highlighted the depth of talent available to the national selectors after seeing England Lions play out a draw with Australia A.

The Lions were unable to force victory on the final day at Old Trafford, having set their opponents a target of 354 from a minimum of 64 overs in the first of two four-day matches between the teams.

Parsons, the ECB’s performance director, admitted to a sense of disappointment, but was nevertheless encouraged by the number of individuals who delivered encouraging displays.

Chris Woakes, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow were among those to impress with the bat - the latter took his second-innings score on to 139 today - while spinner Simon Kerrigan and James Tredwell led the way with the ball by claiming nine wickets between them on day three.

Jonny Bairstow

Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow struck a superb century at Old Trafford and was by no means the only England Lions player to impress

Speaking exclusively to ecb.co.uk, Parsons said: “If you look at the slightly bigger picture outside of this series, what is nice is that you get reminded of some of the talent that is sitting on the fringes or outside the current England side - that fills me with confidence.

“We didn’t dominate the game by any stretch of the imagination, but I think there were a couple of occasions during the game where individual performances pulled us into a strong position.

“Having declared, we were hoping we had enough to bowl them out. We would have liked to have won, so we are a little bit disappointed, but I think we saw enough from this game to take confidence into the next game at Edgbaston.”

Parsons was particularly encouraged by the performance of Yorkshire batsman Bairstow, whose confident 168-ball innings containing 20 fours and two sixes.

Bairstow made his Test debut earlier this summer against West Indies, but was then left out for the first two five-day games against South Africa.

“To see Jonny Bairstow come back from the disappointment of being left out by England and remind everybody of the talent he has got has been very heartening,” Parsons added.

“Through the performances of Joe Root (who struck 70 on day three) and Jonny in particular we were able to control the game today. Craig Kieswetter also scoring runs at quite a pace (66 from 94 deliveries) enabled us to set up the declaration that we wanted.

“We should give the players credit for probably having the better half of the draw in what was a competitive game.”

Warwickshire opener Varun Chopra and Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes have been called up for next week’s fixture at Edgbaston.

Chopra replaces Nick Compton, who was unable to bat in the Lions’ second innings due to a back injury, while Stokes comes in for Ravi Bopara, who remains unavailable due to personal reasons.

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