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Shane Warne: England should pencil Matt Parkinson in for Brisbane Test


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Australian legend praises England legspinner for backing his own skills, and believes he has Test role

Shane Warne may be preparing for London Spirit’s opening match of the Hundred, against Birmingham Phoenix at Edgbaston, but true to reputation, he can’t help but cast his gaze to a rather more distant campaign opener – at Brisbane in December, where he believes Matt Parkinson, England’s up-and-coming legspinner, could yet play a significant role in the Ashes.
As London Spirit’s head coach, Warne will be working closely this month with the last England legspinner to feature on an Ashes tour – Mason Crane, whose solitary Test appearance to date came in Sydney at the end of the 2017-18 tour. However, it is Parkinson who is in pole position for a call-up this winter, after what is already proving to be a breakthrough summer for him.
Having toured Sri Lanka and India without getting a single game across formats last winter, Parkinson admitted last week he had been “gutted” to miss out on selection for the home white-ball series against Sri Lanka, and feared he was destined to be overlooked all season – until a Covid outbreak in England’s first-choice squad offered him a late call-up, and a chance to play in five of England’s six matches against Pakistan.
He duly made his mark with a string of impressive performances – six wickets across formats, at an economy-rate of less than seven. In the T20I at Headingley, his selection alongside Adil Rashid meant that England fielded a twin-legspin attack for the first time since Eric Hollies’ final Test against West Indies in 1950.

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