Gary Ballance has been dropped from the England squad for the third Ashes Test in Edgbaston starting from July 29, following England’s 405-run drubbing at Lord’s.
Jonny Bairstow, who has been in a stunning form for Yorkshire this season, has replaced him. Bairstow has scored 5 centuries to put his side in control, having notched up 906 runs in the County Championship at 100.66.
Veteran Ian Bell will replace Ballance at number 3 while Joe Root will move up to no. 4, followed by Bairstow at no. 5. England will look forward to overcome their woes at the start of the innings, having lost three wickets for 52 runs or fewer in seven of their last eight Tests. Ian Bell will, in particular, be under pressure to deliver in the next Test, after having managed a score in excess of 30 only once in his last 12 innings.
“Gary was naturally disappointed to miss out on this occasion, however we feel that he will benefit from some time in County Cricket to rediscover his form,” James Whitaker, the national selector, said. “He has already had plenty of success at international level and, as selectors, we are confident Gary will play a significant role for England in the future.”
Meanwhile, Steven Finn and leg spinner Adil Rashid will continue to be parts of England’s 13-man squad.
“The break ahead of the third Test will give the squad time to reflect on the series so far and a chance to focus on playing the positive, confident cricket we saw in Cardiff,” Whitaker said. “For the third Test Ian Bell will move up the order to bat at three followed by Joe Root with Jonny Bairstow coming in at five. Jonny has worked extremely hard at his game and his record for Yorkshire speaks for itself. He fully deserves this opportunity.”
England squad for third Test.
Alastair Cook (captain), Adam Lyth, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Adil Rashid, Steven Finn.