The Ashes, which is a part of ICC World Test Championship, are all set to take place from August 1 where the arch-rivals England and Australia will face each other. As the interest of watching Test Cricket has gone down, ICC decided to start championship in Tests as well which might help to gain the popularity of the longer format of the game.
The championship will continue for the two years (2019-21) where the top nine teams will take on each other in the home and away series. After the end of the series, the two team who will have more points, play the final. The final will take place in 2021. The ICC World Test Championship will start with the Ashes series at Edgbaston.
England announced the 14-member England squad for the upcoming series. Let’s have a look at the Tests squad:
Although England have different openers in the longer format than the limited-overs. There are a couple of openers available in England’s Test squad in the form of Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Jason Roy etc. While Burns and Denly failed to impress in the recently concluded one-off Test against Ireland, an impressive knock of 92 came from Jack Leach who unfortunately couldn’t find his name in the squad. Although he will train with the squad before the Edgbaston Test.
Jason Roy, who made his Test debut against Ireland recently, has been named in the squad. He can be used as an opener as well as in the number 3 position. He was in a formidable form in the recently concluded ICC World Cup and expected to maintain that in the Ashes as well.
England have a strong middle order with the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, captain Joe Root, vice-captain Ben Stokes, all-rounder Moeen Ali etc. Although Buttler and Stokes have given rest in the one-off Test against Ireland.
Stokes, however, appointed as the vice-captain of the team. He lost the post in 2017 after the incident which took place the outside of a Bristol nightclub but he has been reappointed with Ashley Giles and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison’s recommendation. All of them have been in good form for the last couple of months. They are expected to replicate the same in the most prestigious Ashes.
Jonny Bairstow will be there behind the stumps for England in the upcoming series. He is not only a dangerous batsman but also a terrific keeper. His inclusion in the squad will give more strength in the middle order.
Along with batting, England have a strong bowling side as well. Their key bowler Jofra Archer, who impressed with his deadly bowling in the ICC Cricket World Cup campaign, has earned his maiden call-up. Although he didn’t play in the one-off Test against Ireland, The 24-year-old did well for Sussex in the Vitality Blast.
Jimmy Anderson, the Lancashire seamer who was not a part of the Ireland match because of a calf injury, has been included in the squad. He is doing well in the rehabilitation and is expected to be fit in time for the first Test. Along with him, the two other pace bowlers, Chris Woakes and Stuart Broad have been named in the squad.
While England had a dismal show in the first innings during the one-off Test against Ireland, both Woakes and Broad led England to a convincing win. Woakes took a six-wicket haul while Broad took four wickets and bowled Ireland out for 38. Their inclusion wasn’t a surprise although.
Olly Stone and Sam Curran, who both played against Ireland, have found their places in the squad although Lewis Gregory missed out.
It will be interesting to see how the England team perform in the ICC World Test Championship after their maiden title win in the ICC World Cup.
Joe Root (C), Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, Olly Stone