England have announced their Test squad for the first two games of the upcoming three-match Test series against reigning World Test champions New Zealand. The three-match series will be a part of the World Test Championship. The highly-anticipated series will start on June 2 at Lord’s followed by two more Tests in Nottingham and Leeds respectively. The upcoming series will be Brendon McCullum’s first assignment as England Test team’s head coach.
England have recalled their senior pace duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad for the home assignment. Both the bowlers were omitted from England’s squad for the tour of West Indies earlier this year following the team’s disastrous performance in the Ashes. But with ECB making a host of changes in recent times including appointing a new captain in the form of Ben Stokes, Broad and Anderson have been recalled to the team.
At the same time, the likes of Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, Mark Wood and Saqib Mahmood could not find a spot in the team due to injuries. England have also handed maiden call-ups to Yorkshire’s Harry Brook and Durham’s Matthew Potts. Both Brook and Potts have impressed in the County Championship this season. While Brook has scored 758 runs at a stunning average of 151.60, Potts is the leading wicket-taker with 35 wickets to his name.
“This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben (Stokes) and Brendon (McCullum). With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month’s Test series. We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level,” Managing Director for England Men’s Cricket, Rob Key, said.
England Test squad:
Ben Stokes (C), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Joe Root