Former England captain Alec Stewart concedes Steve Davies’ Ashes brief will be a watching one – but is adamant he can more than fill in for first-choice wicketkeeper Matt Prior if called upon.

The 24-year-old was named as the second wicketkeeper behind Prior on England’s 16-strong Ashes squad following seven impressive innings during last month’s Twenty20 and one-day series’ against Pakistan.

Davies earned his England call up after a memorable maiden season with Surrey and notched 239 runs in total against the tourists with a best of 87 during the first one-dayer at Chester-le-Street.

Prior – continually overlooked for the England one-day and Twenty20 gloves – will undoubtedly return to the Test fold for the first Ashes Test in Brisbane in November.

But former England wicketkeeper Stewart – a holder of 133 Test and 170 one-day caps – believes if anything happens to Prior Davies will grab the opportunity with both hands.

“Matt Prior will start the first Ashes Test and quite rightly so. He has been outstanding this summer and he is in possession of the gloves and he won’t get left out,” said Stewart – speaking in his role as a cricket ambassador for

“But I am very pleased for Steve. He has performed outstandingly well for Surrey this summer and he is great back up to Matt Prior.

“He knows he is going out to Australia as back up to Matt but they are like for like cricketers and that just shows the strength in depth there is at the moment.

“We saw just what a good cricketer he is in the one-day games at the back end of the season against Pakistan and I have seen him firsthand at Surrey.

“He may get his chance if something happens to Matt Prior be it a loss of form or injury and he is ready to take it.”

Davies – who hit 887 first-class and 485 one-day runs for Surrey this season – is no stranger to a winter with England having been part of the squad that toured South Africa last year.

“Not only is Steve a good gloveman but I seriously believe he is a good enough batter to challenge for one of the six batting places should there be a loss of form or injury,” added Stewart.

“The squad for the Ashes picked itself really, certainly you would say 14 of the squad picked itself, and that included Steve’s selection as the second wicketkeeper.

“And you throw in Matt Prior and Steve Davies as wicketkeeper-batsmen to the seven front line batters that have been selected and we have a very good strong batting squad.”

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