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Neil Fairbrother: Low Key For England and Ominous Signs from Yorks
Article posted: 06 June 2016

From an ISM point of view, fantastic to see James Vince make his Test match debut.

- Neil Fairbrother

Nearly two months into the new season, the weather is great and it feels like the cricket season is in full swing.

On the domestic front, all three competitions are now underway and already the Championship is looking like it may well be Headingley-bound again.

Although I don’t think Yorkshire have played particularly well up to now, they find themselves right in the thick of things and I’m sure they’re saying right now ‘What happens when we start playing really well?’

Everybody else is jockeying for position. Lancashire have probably surprised a few and are joint top having had three wins out of six. Jimmy Anderson and Kyle Jarvis have clearly helped get the Red Rose County off to a good start.

There are four teams within two points at the top with Durham and Middlesex also right up there. At the bottom, Surrey have yet to register a win in seven games and Hampshire, who have played a game less than some and been struck badly by injuries, are already some points adrift.

In the second division, Essex have a healthy lead, buoyed by Alasdair Cook’s early runs and will be hard to catch. There have only been nine wins in division two so it is pretty concertinaed.

In the Twenty20, Northants and Worcester, who both played well last season, are the form horses in the north group, and in the south group there is nothing to choose between any of the teams at this stage.

As in the Championship, Yorkshire’s form is also no surprise – played three, lost three.

The start of the international season has been as low-key as I can ever remember, with Sri Lanka posing no threat whatsoever to this England team.

I like the way Alex Hales has played in the first two Tests. After a tough baptism in South Africa, he has nearly filled his boots. From an ISM point of view, fantastic to see James Vince make his Test match debut and although he hasn’t scored big runs, he has definitely looked the part.

On the injury front, Ben Stokes’ knee operation went according to plan and the rehab has started in earnest. Let’s hope we see Ben back on the field in the next few weeks.

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