Fresh from a impressive One Day series win over the World Cup finalists New Zealand, England are set for the biggest prize in test cricket. England name the a formidable squad for the first test set to begin on July 8th at Cardiff. The English is more or less the same team that drew the series against the Kiwis with the addition of leg spinner Adil Rashid who impressed in the One Day series, and speedster Steven Finn.
Adil Rashid is said to fight it out with Moeen Ali for a spot in the sode after newly elected coach Trevor Bayliss is supposedly keen on playing two spinners considering the conditions which might aid the tweakers. “There’s been a bit of hot weather around so we want that option,” the coach said to the ECB website.
Meanwhile Steven Finn returns to the test side after an impressive showing in the ODI series against New Zealand where he emerged as the second highest wicket taker on batsmen friendly wickets, ahead of Chris Jordan and the injured Liam Plunkett. However Mark Wood is expected to keep his place with James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
On the Batting front Adam Lyth would continue to open the batting with his skipper Alastair Cook and Gary Ballance retains his number three position, followed by Ian Bell who the lone survivor from that historic 2005 Ashes Triumph for the English. Joe Root who has been impressive would a key batsman followed by all rounder Ben Stokes and Wicket Keeper batsman Jos Butler.
“Adil Rashid’s inclusion provides Alastair and Trevor with plenty of bowling options and the surface at Cardiff will dictate who makes the final XI,” said the National Selector James Whitaker. “Within the squad there are players who have plenty of experience of Ashes cricket and that knowledge will I’m sure be useful for the players who are yet to experience a home Ashes series.” he added.
“There has been some very good cricket played so far this summer and we are aware that we will need to build on that over the next seven weeks if we are to win back the Ashes. On behalf of the selectors I’d like to congratulate the 13 players selected for the first Investec Test and wish them as well as Trevor all the very best for what will I’m sure be a very competitive and entertaining series.”
England squad: Alastair Cook (capt), Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Adil Rashid, Steven Finn.