Geoff Cook backs Scott Borthwick and Ben Stokes for England
Durham head coach Geoff Cook has said he hopes Scott Borthwick and Ben Stokes can thrive in international cricket, after both made England debuts.
Borthwick, 21, and Stokes, 20, featured in Thursday's one-day international against Ireland in Dublin, having impressed in the Lions ranks.
"It's the start of their international careers," Cook told BBC Newcastle.
"They've both got the correct attitude and the level of skill and athleticism to give themselves every chance."
While Borthwick and Stokes, as well as seamer Graham Onions have been away with England, Durham's bid to reclaim the County Championship stuttered with a defeat by 67 runs at Nottinghamshire on Wednesday, to leave leaders Lancashire 10 points clear with a game in hand.
However, Cook has refused to write off Durham's chances, with two games and 48 points to play for going into the final two matches of the season.
"All you can do is what you can do, and we've got to try to win our next two games," Cook said.
"You never know what could interfere or what could happen in the other matches.
"You have to look after your own performance, we haven't played as well in the past two games, even allowing for the frustrations with the weather.
"We've a minimum of ten days cricket left, exciting cricket. We've all got to swallow the disappointment of the defeat at Nottinghamshire and make sure there's a positive air when we start playing again."