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Parsons predicts Lions will graduate

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England Lions may have been winless on their trip to Australia, but ECB performance director David Parsons expects the more impressive tourists to soon play senior international cricket.

Three players, all batsmen, statistically stood out amid three warm-up losses to Victoria and a 4-0 defeat to Australia A, ending yesterday with a washout at the SCG.

Captain James Taylor and Gary Ballance have averaged in the mid-fifties and Varun Chopra in the mid-forties across all tour games.

Taylor has already played two Tests and a one-day international for England, and senior recognition could shortly follow for the likes of Ballance and Chopra according to Parsons.

“In the context of us having lost this series quite heavily, I think back 12 months ago to losing in Bangladesh in a one-day series and there was a similar sort of sense of disappointment having lost the series,” he told ecb.co.uk.

Gary Ballance

Gary Ballance is one of England Lions' outstanding players that David Parsons expects to see playing at senior international level in the immediate future

“Yet, since that time, people like Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, James Taylor, Alex Hales, Stuart Meaker, Joe Root, of course, were all part of that tour that lost in Bangladesh and yet those players have made that step up over the last six-to-12 months to the England team and to varying degrees have had some success.

“So it’s heartening to see that, despite having lost a tough, challenging series here in Australia, it is likely if past experiences are anything to go by that a number of these players will have learned sufficiently from their experiences here that they can make that step up in due course into the England team and still be successful.”

England Lions suffered 100-plus-run setbacks in the second and third matches with Australia A, having lost the opener by seven wickets.

During that time Matt Coles and Ben Stokes were sent home after disciplinary hearings for unprofessional conduct.

“At face value you’d have to say, having lost the seven games that we’ve played, all seven of them, some by considerable margins, that it’s been disappointing in terms of results,” Parsons said.

“We knew that it was going to be a challenging tour. (Like) any England team that comes to Australia, we knew we were going to be challenged, but clearly we would have hoped for better results on the field. And as part of that clearly we would have hoped for better performances.

“In truth we’ve shown some sporadic evidence and examples of good play at various stages but rarely have we been able to put a complete performance together.

“There’s been some individuals that will have elevated their status and shown that they’ve got a capacity to play at the next level.

“The other players - our hope is that they will have used this opportunity to have learned much about themselves and about their game and about what is required to be successful at the next level.

“So I’m sure there is an awful lot that we and the players can take from this tour, but purely in terms of results it’s been disappointing.”

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