England have included young pace bowling sensation Jofra Archer in their 14-member squad for the upcoming Ashes series starting from August 1 at Edgbaston. The host will be desperate to make a double after clinching their maiden ICC World Cup title.

England announce squad for first Test

Meanwhile, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler has returned to the England squad after missing the one-off match against Ireland. Stokes will take over the Test vice-captaincy for the first time since the well-publicised incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017. However, Lewis Gregory and last match’s man of the match Jack Leeched failed to make the cut.

Jofra Archer | Nasser Hussain
Jofra Archer. Credit: Getty Images

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All eyes will be on Jofra Archer when England play their first Ashes game at Edgbaston. Archer is currently recovering from a side strain he sustained during the second half of the World Cup. The Barbados-born cricketer has an excellent first-class record although he has played just 23 matches in all. In those games, he has taken 131 wickets at an average of 23.

National selector Ed Smith said that various players are suffering from niggles and injuries; thus they have picked 14 players in the squad. He also added that they are closely monitoring the first bowlers who are recovering from injury.

“Though it is unusual to select a squad of 14 for a home Test, there are compelling reasons to do so here. Several bowlers are recovering from injuries or niggles. In addition, some bowlers who played in the World Cup are being closely monitored to assess their preparation for Test match cricket,” Smith said.

England. Credit: Getty Images

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England have relied on the top three batters Jason Roy, Joe Denly, and Rory Burns for the first match and the middle-order of Joe Root, Jos Buttler, and Jonny Bairstow. James Anderson has also made a return to the squad recovering from the injury.

England squad for first Ashes Test:

Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes