The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced the England team playing XI for the first Test of the three-match series against South Africa which will be played at Lord’s from August 17 onwards.
The series will be part of the ICC World Test Championship, and South Africa currently sits at the top of the table, while England is placed at 7.
England has a good chance of winning this series, especially after South Africa lost Duanne Olivier for the entire series due to a hip flexor injury, while Kagiso Rabada is dealing with his own set of injuries and Proteas are praying that he gets fit ahead of the series opener.
Ben Foakes Returns To Replace Sam Billings
The ECB has announced England playing XI for the first Test in Lords which sees Zak Crawley and Alex Lees opening the innings. Ollie Pope will be batting at no.3 and Joe Root will hold the fort at the no.4 position.
The whole playing XI remains the same except for one change to the side which played against India in the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston in July. Jonny Bairstow keeps his place at no.5 with captain Ben Stokes following next.
The only change in the playing XI is that Sam Billings has been replaced as the wicketkeeper in the team by Ben Foakes, who had missed the match after contracting Covid-19 ahead of the match.
England has only one spinner in the side with Jack Leach, while it has picked three pacers in the experienced duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad who will be aided in the pace department by newbie Matthew Potts who impressed against New Zealand.
England squad for the first Test against South Africa:
Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes (WK), Stuart Broad, Jack Leach, Matthew Potts, James Anderson