Chris Silverwood backs 'fighter' Dan Lawrence to make step up to test cricket

Essex batsman Dan Lawrence

Essex's Dan Lawrence batting during day four of the Bob Willis Trophy match at 1st Central County Ground, Hove. - Credit: PA

England head coach Chris Silverwood has no doubts that "fighter" Dan Lawrence has the right mentality to step up to the challenge of Test cricket.

The 23-year-old Essex batsman is in line to make his international bow in the first Test against Sri Lanka on Thursday, with the rested Ben Stokes leaving a vacancy in the middle order.

And while Lawrence, who went to Trinity High in Woodford Green, will be a new face for some, Silverwood has already known him for several years having overseen his progression through the second XI ranks at Chelmsford.

In 2017 the pair helped Essex win their first County Championship in 25 years before Silverwood was invited to join Trevor Bayliss' England staff.

Lawrence is once again ready to follow and Silverwood has every confidence he is ready to make it another successful promotion. "I've known Dan for a long time now. I think he's ready," he said. "He's a great character and a fighter with lots of skill there as well. Should he get the nod we've got every confidence he can be successful.

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"He does not get flustered. He doesn't care who the opposition are, he just loves scoring runs.

"I saw those characteristics in him as a young man coming into the Essex second team and he shows the same characteristics now so it is great to see the consistency. I think he is a very good cricketer and personality."

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Former England skipper Sir Alastair Cook has shared a dressing room with Lawrence since his international retirement.

He wrote enthusiastically about his young team-mate in his Sunday Times column but conceded he was known as a "leg-side Larry" on the circuit.

While that could be perceived as a potential weakness, he would not be the first player to succeed at the top level with a preference off the pads.

Silverwood, at least, sees no reason for concern. "I think the one thing with Dan, he has always played his way," he said. "He is strong on his leg side but there is no reason why that can't be a strength and he can adapt that to Test cricket. You don't know until they try."

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