The England Lions have had a fine tour down under, reminding us that the future is bright for the English cricket team. So far the white-ball team has led the way, but last night it was the 4-day Lions squad that got in on the action.
After losing the toss and being put in to bat, the Lions couldn't have hoped for a better first day at the Blundstone Arena in Hobart. At the close of play, the Lions were 367-4 with three centurions on their books.
Dominic Sibley who enjoyed a superb tour of South Africa hit 103, and newly recalled Keaton Jennings was fluent in hitting 18 boundaries on his way to 141, but it was Dan Lawrence who caught my eye.
The 22-year-old Essex man remains not out on 103 overnight, having hit 14 boundaries and one maximum. Lawrence enjoyed a good white-ball tour with England but it's his red-ball game that I'm more interested in.
Lawrence currently holds a 37.54 first-class average. In 2019 he predominantly batted at #4, with the odd game at #5. Overall he scored 725 runs at an average of 38.16 and if you saw some of the wickets down in Essex, you'd know that's not a bad return at all.
Dan Lawrence has built his game on a firm technical base, in an age of technical deficiencies Lawrence has continued to hone his technical skills, and while he may not be Ollie Pope attractive in his game, he has all the classic shots you'd expect first-class batsman to have.
Lawrence moves across his stumps during the delivery which helps his off-side game. I saw maybe 2-3 innings of his last year and he's very good down the ground and square of the wicket, and has a stunning cover drive as well. I didn't see much on the leg-side but that may have just been the games I watched.
Playing with Alastair Cook has certainly made an impact on Lawrence
"You'd be silly not to use Cookie," he gleamed. "He is a massive role-model for me and a really good person. He is always going to score runs but the good thing about him is he is really honest.
"If you're not doing something right then he'll tell you. He is a brilliant person to have around. I badger him about cricket all day long and he loves it. Off-the-field he is brilliant as well."
At just 22 and with a firm technique, I wonder if he may be the answer at England's #3 position. Denly has done a fine job, but Lawrence hitting a century down under won't do his chances any harm as England build to the next Ashes series.
I know I've spoken a lot about Sam Hain, but it seems as though England are looking at him as mainly a white-ball prospect at the moment. If Dan Lawrence can continue scoring runs on the Lions tour, a full test call-up can't be that far away.