Former captain Michael Vaughan has advises rising England star Tom Banton to give up his lucrative IPL deal and instead play County Championship to stake a claim for the Test team.
The 21-year-old Banton is a highly-rated top-order batsman who has been making waves with his big-hitting. In his BBL stint, he struck a 19-ball 56 to add more credibility to the hype surrounding him.
At the IPL auction last December, he was picked by two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs one crore.
But Vaughan wants the youngster to skip the upcoming IPL season for red-ball cricket. “If I were in charge I would be on the phone this week to Tom Banton telling him to give up his IPL deal and play the first few weeks of the county season for Somerset because there is a slot available at No 6 in the Test side,” Vaughan wrote in his column for Telegraph Sport.
Vaughan reckons that there will be an opening in the England Test team at the No. 6 spot as he believes that incumbent Ollie Pope is bound to get a promotion in due time. “Ollie Pope is not going to stay there forever. He is going to move up. (Joe) Root and (Ben) Stokes are rock solid at four and five. Joe Denly has done OK but is OK good enough when you have a Pope at six who will clearly be England’s No 3 by the time they go to Australia again?” he wrote.
Calling him a ‘superstar in the making’, Vaughan said Banton can have a go at the IPL in future but he should exploit the potential opportunity of breaking into the England Test side “I have seen enough of Banton to know he is a superstar in the making. I’m not sure a stint in the IPL right now, when he might not get a lot of game time, is what he needs at this stage of his career. The IPL can wait. He has plenty of time to go to India. He needs to play four-day cricket and score some early hundreds. If he does that I could see him batting at No 6 in the Test side this summer. It is possible,” he said.