Joe Clarke might have missed out on Test selection for England this week – but it is a question of when not if the call will eventually come – according to his teammate Jack Shantry.
The 21-year-old had been tipped by many as a potential inclusion in Ed Smith’s first squad announced on Tuesday after a fast start to the summer.
Clarke had compiled tons against last year’s champions Essex and this year’s table toppers Surrey in consecutive weeks to put throw his hat in the ring for England’s middle order.
But he missed out this time as Smith opted to recall Jos Buttler and promote Jonny Bairstow to Clarke’s preferred No.5 slot.
But Clarke will be in that England team before long – of that Shantry has no doubt.
“Fingers crossed for Joe, we would love to have him available to us but he is one of the best young batters in the country now,” said the 30-year-old.
“We would all be delighted if he had been selected.
“Our director of cricket Kevin Sharp had Joe Root when he was a youngster at Yorkshire and he says there are a lot of similarities and he is probably the best judge.
“He is mature, and at the age of 21 and has 11 centuries already. I’m not sure how that compares with other England players, but I bet there aren’t many that have that.”
Indeed throw in two List A and one t20 ton and Clarke’ total of centuries expands to 14 – an amazing figure at the age of just 21.
For comparison, Joe Root had only scored four first-class tons before England came calling at the end of 2012.
But the Pears will keep hold of Clarke for now, and also welcome back Moeen Ali at some point during the One Day Cup after his IPL stint.
The all-rounder was also overlooked by England and Shantry is confident that the dream duo will fire Worcestershire to a Lord’s final against last year’s semi-final disappointment.
“With him and Moeen in the side we are looking very strong in the batting department and we will be very proud when they are selected by England again,” he added.
“The idea of playing in front of Lord’s in front of a packed house is the pinnacle.
“It’s different to four-day and t20, it’s a great spectator sport and we are hoping to go all the way this year.
“We got to the semi-finals last year, and fell just one hurdle short of getting to Lord’s.
But we think our side is quite suited to this competition, we have a nice mix with the bowlers and our batters have historically been quite strong.
“We have not had the most ideal start back in Division One so we will look to start with a bit of form in this one.”
Royal London, proud sponsors of one-day cricket, celebrating unconventional greatness in the game by championing the independent spirit of players like Worcestershire Rapids’ Jack Shantry. The Royal London One-Day Cup returns on 17th May.