Jack Leach is not part of the Test squad v West Indies

Former England captain Michael Vaughan feels that the County Championship is not being considered for England Test selection anymore, specifically questioning the choice of Shoaib Bashir over Jack Leach for the West Indies Tests.

Bashir was named in England's XI for the opening Test of the summer against the West Indies, also the farewell Test for James Anderson. Jack Leach, not too long ago England's first-choice spinner, did not make the cut, despite making a comeback in county cricket following an injury layoff.

Vaughan: England are picking players that aren't first-choice at their counties

"They are not looking at county cricket," Vaughan said on The Vaughany and Tuffers podcast. "They are just looking at the players. [Shoaib] Bashir is not the first-choice spinner at Somerset, Jack Leach is. Ben Foakes is the first-choice keeper at Surrey and Jamie Smith isn’t.

"England are picking players that aren't first-choice at their counties. I don't think they are looking at County cricket as a tool to say that 'You are an international cricketer.'"

Last month, Bashir was at the receiving end of a brutal onslaught at the hands of Dan Lawrence, who hit him for 38 runs off one over – five consecutive sixes included – also making it the joint-most runs conceded off a single over in first-class cricket.

Vaughan believes Leach should be the one picked when England tour Australia for the next Ashes in 2025/26.

"I think the Bashir over Jack Leach one is really intriguing. I would have gone [for] Jack Leach. Bashir is a wonderful talent and no doubt that in a two-man spin attack he would be the second spinner.

"But Jack Leach has earned the right for being England's No.1. In Australia, a left-arm spinner against a lot of their right-handers, they haven't got many left-handers – Khawaja at the top, who is going to replace Warner, whoever replaces him, we’ll have to see. Pretty much all of their engine rooms are right-handers.

"I look at someone like Maharaj, he’s done well. Phil [Tufnell] has done well. Left-arm spin is quite a good attack in Australia.”

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