Parsons hails Lions pair
England Lions coach David Parsons feels sure James Taylor and Jonny Bairstow could rise to the challenge of next week's first Test at Lord's.
Both young batsmen will discover in the next 12 hours whether they may be required as cover or as direct replacement for Ravi Bopara, who has suffered a thigh injury.
The squad to take on the West Indies will be revealed on Sunday morning, Taylor and Bairstow having boosted their profiles with a century and half-century respective against the tourists for the Lions at Northampton.
Both spent day three in the field while opener Kieran Powell (108) and others were putting the West Indies firmly back in the equation on 377 for eight, for an unexpected lead of 183.
England and Wales Cricket Board performance director Parsons reflected both on the turnaround in fortunes on the pitch, and Taylor and Bairstow's Test aspirations.
"You rarely go on single one-off games. I think you have to be careful not to do that," he said.
"You are looking at patterns and trends over time that make some sort of prediction as to what players will be like in the future."
On that basis, Lions captain Taylor and wicketkeeper-batsman Bairstow appear to fit the bill.
"Both Jonny and James have scored quite heavily in Lions games over the last couple of years, as they have in first-class cricket," added Parsons.
"It's a good opportunity for all of those guys to press their cases.
"You never know, until they're given an opportunity. They both average close on 50 in first-class cricket, and more than 50 for England Lions.
"You get a gut feel from skilled observations you make - and then you keep your fingers crossed.
"You have confidence because of those observations you've made of them over time ... that they can be successful."
As for the Lions' chastening experience in the field against Powell, Shivnarine Chanderpaul (77) and Darren Bravo (57), he said: "You do almost get lulled into that situation where you hope things might work out slightly differently.
"But the pitch was a lot better today, and we have to give these West Indians credit.
"They've got some good players, Test cricketers of some repute, and you'd expect them to come back stronger than they did in the first innings."
Parsons was nonetheless impressed with the tenacity of the home attack.
"I don't think there was any lack of effort on our part.
"We didn't quite get our lengths right all the way through the day, but I thought we stuck at it pretty well.
"At effectively 180 for eight, I think we're still in a pretty strong position.
"You want to win these games. But in the bigger picture, you want to see players playing in tough situations.
"It's been a tough day today, and we learned a bit about the bowlers."