The England Cricket Board (ECB) has announced its squad for the first two Test matches against India. England and India will clash in a blockbuster series from the 4th of August at the Trent Bridge in Nottingham. Hence, the hosts have named a 17-member squad for the same. It would be England’s second Test rubber of the summer, with Joe Root hoping to prevent a second consecutive series loss at home.
Ollie Robinson has returned to the squad after his Twitter scandal kept him out of the second Test against New Zealand in Edgbaston. The right-arm seamer impressed in his maiden outing against the Kiwis at the Lord’s, taking seven wickets in the match and scoring a valuable 42 runs in the first innings. After being rested against New Zealand in the two-Test series, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran have also been included in the 17-member squad. The selectors have given Jonny Bairstow yet another opportunity to revive his Test career.
Spin-bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali has surprisingly missed out, while opener Haseeb Hammed, part of the County Select XI against India at the warm-up game in Durham, has made the cut. With Dom Sibley struggling at the top of the order, the youngster could get a chance at some stage of the series. Hameed enjoyed a memorable Test debut back in 2016 against India, making scores of 31 and 82 in Rajkot. He averages a healthy 43.80 in three Tests, scoring 219 runs.
India are currently playing a practice match against the County Select XI in Durham, where KL Rahul’s century and Ravindra Jadeja’s fifty rescued them from a precarious position. Nevertheless, they have a few injury concerns. Captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane. Kohli and Rahane did not feature in the three-day practice game against the County Select XI in Durham as the former had a stiff back and the latter had a swollen hamstring.
After Nottingham, the remaining four Tests would be hosted by Lord’s, Leeds, The Oval, and Manchester. India would be keen to end their English sojourn on a high after losing the ICC World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton by eight wickets. The tourists should fancy winning their first Test series in England since 2007 as the home side has been fragile across departments, losing to New Zealand comprehensively in June.
Below is England’s 17-man squad for the first two Tests to face India:
Joe Root (c), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood.