Jennings looking to build on England Lions tour
England Lions fly out to Jamaica today with their captain Keaton Jennings urging the squad to kick on from the experiences they gained in Australia before Christmas.
Jennings is leading the Lions for a second consecutive winter, and this time his fellow travellers include two members of England’s Ashes squad – Ben Foakes and Mason Crane – as well as Liam Livingstone, a third player who will be aiming to make an impression before joining the Test tour of New Zealand. Lancashire's Alex Davies and Saqib Mahmood are also in the squad as well as Matthew Parkinson who is involved in the white-ball element of the tour.
Haseeb Hameed, Jamie Porter and Toby Roland-Jones are all itching to get back into competitive action after injury, while the remaining nine members of the squad for a three-match series against West Indies A share Jennings’ determination to build on the work they did in the red-ball training camp in Brisbane.
“The focus in Australia was on training and practice, with the bonus of a three-day game against Queensland and a T20 series against Perth Scorchers,” said Jennings, who is aiming to stake his claim for an England recall this winter.
“Now we switch to a focus on playing matches, with the three Tests against West Indies A followed by a one-day series.
“It was similar last winter, with our training camp in Dubai and Abu Dhabi before Christmas and then the great experience of touring Sri Lanka. England go there next winter so for any of the Lions guys who have managed to force their way in, they will have a first-hand experience of playing in places like Kandy and Dambulla.
“West Indies will be a different culture for us all to experience, and it’s an exciting prospect to be playing at Sabina Park in Kingston, where we’ve got our warm-up match next week as well as the second Test. Then we head to Antigua, and after that for those of us lucky enough to be in the North-South Series as well, we play at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.
“I expect the atmosphere to be similar to last year. You get put under pressure both by the opposition and our own coaches. You have to be able to adapt to unknown opposition in different conditions. And you’re wearing the England shirt and kit, which is always an honour and raises the stakes.
“There’s also the element of trying to impress the coaches and selectors who will be out there – and if you look at our squad, there are a few guys who will be vying for different positions. But we will also be trying our utmost to win the series.”
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