David Nash has backed Dawid Malan and Eoin Morgan to spearhead the youngest batting line-up in the County Championship next season, writes Jon Batham.
Speaking in the wake of Ed Joyce's imminent departure to Sussex, the Middlesex stalwart claimed Malan and Morgan were the brightest young talents in the English game.
With former skipper Andrew Strauss facing an Ashes series and a benefit year, Owais Shah also in the tour party to India and Ed Smith out of the frame, the likely front five of Billy Godleman, Neil Dexter, Malan, Morgan and Daniel Housego boast an average age of less than 22.
Nash conceded Strauss or Shah could be available for selection, but claimed the last two seasons showed experience is no guarantee of success.
He said: "Malan and Morgan might not both have brilliant seasons next year, but they are in the England performance squad for this winter and are the best of England's young crop now.
"It won't be easy sustaining a promotion bid with a young side, but last season it seemed, even with a lot of senior figures, we were 40-4 every week. And in my opinion, the management gave some players too many games to get it right.
"Just because you are a name, doesn't mean you can keep batting forever."
Nash freely admitted he has his own selfish reasons for hoping Middlesex put their trust in youth and don't recruit any more batsmen over the summer - he wants his place back.
The Seaxes' wicketkeeper hasn't played Championship cricket since suffering a hamstring injury at Derby in May.
The Sunbury-based star soon recovered but couldn't reclaim his place behind the timbers because of the inspired form of fellow glove-man Ben Scott.
However Nash's figures for batting alone provide a persuasive argument for a return to the first team.
He averages 53 in his last 14 innings in Championship cricket, including two centuries and three 50s (as many 100s as Joyce in the last two seasons).
Nash added: "From my perspective, I don't want the club signing any more batsman as it would push me further down the pecking order.
"It's up to the likes of me to make runs in the second XI and keep those playing in the championship under pressure."