Will England make changes for Ashes series against Australia?
Last Updated: 08/06/19 9:57am
While the World Cup is in full swing, the England selectors will also be keeping one eye on their next major challenge of the summer.
In less than two months' time, they need to assemble an England side capable of prising the Ashes from Australian hands - and some of the places in that Test team are certainly up for grabs.
The County Championship schedule has offered opportunities for England hopefuls to stake a claim, with up to seven fixtures squeezed into an eight-week period prior to the warm-up Test against Ireland at Lord's in late July.
We take a look at the stand-out performers who may just have caught the selectors' eye during the last two rounds of red-ball cricket:
Dominic Sibley (Warwickshire)
Sibley missed out on a third century of the season against Nottinghamshire, but his knock of 87, compiled over more than six hours, highlighted his ability to occupy the crease for long periods.
That ability is something England batsmen have often struggled to produce in recent years and Sibley's first-class average of 53.25 this season suggests he could be worth a look at international level.
Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire)
The left-hander made the last of his four Test appearances more than two-and-a-half years ago, but is gradually beginning to find his feet with a new county after switching from Northamptonshire at the end of last summer.
Opening the batting, Duckett recorded his first century in Nottinghamshire colours and it proved to be a vital one, with his 140 steering them to a draw after following on against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)
Discarded after a run of low scores against South Africa two years ago, Ballance set about rediscovering his form at domestic level and he currently leads the run-scoring charts in the County Championship.
Ballance averages a whopping 86.14 and has made four centuries so far this season, although he had to settle for an unbeaten 51 as Yorkshire's match against Essex drifted towards a draw.
Billy Root (Glamorgan)
Being the brother of England's Test captain may or may not help his cause; either way the younger Root is making a good case off his own bat at the moment, having left Nottinghamshire to join the Welsh county during the winter.
Root's colossal 229 against Northamptonshire was his highest score in first-class cricket, laying the platform for a resounding victory that lifted unfancied Glamorgan to second place in Division Two.
Craig Overton (Somerset)
The elder of the Overton twins performed well on England's Ashes tour in 2017/18 and, despite being overlooked since then, is now building his case for a recall.
Overton has claimed 23 red-ball scalps this summer, with a season's best of 5-31 earning the County Championship front-runners a victory over title-holders Surrey at Guildford this week.
Tom Helm (Middlesex)
Beset by injury problems before and since his selection for England Lions in 2016, Helm has shown he can offer a genuine fast bowling option as long as his fitness holds.
The 25-year-old was watched by England bowling coach Kevin Shine last week as he produced his best first-class figures of 5-36, ripping the heart out of the Worcestershire batting to set up Middlesex's first win of the season.
Ben Coad (Yorkshire)
Yorkshire have supplied England with a string of seam options in recent years and Coad, who has found some consistency this season, could be the next cab off the rank.
Coad toiled without much success in a rain-affected draw against Essex this week, but he has taken 22 wickets overall at an average of 23.64, including a six-wicket haul to seal victory over Kent last month.
Dom Bess (Yorkshire)
On loan at Headingley after finding his first-team opportunities limited at Somerset, the young off-spinner has begun to regain some rhythm and took 3-45 in the draw with Essex.
Bess also contributed an unbeaten 91 with the bat, which could potentially give him an edge over Somerset team-mate Jack Leach if the England selectors decide to go with two spinners at some stage during the Ashes.
Watch every ball of the Ashes from August 1, live on Sky Sports Cricket