England have named their squad for the first Ashes test which begins on Thursday at Edgbaston, with Jofra Archer called up to the test arena for the first time after starring for Sussex in the T20 Blast this week.
The pacer who starred as part of England’s successful World Cup campaign and averages a shade over 23 in First Class cricket is part of a 14 man squad which also sees Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler recalled after being rested for the match against Ireland.
There is more good news for England fans as James Anderson is named in the 14 and is expected to be fit in time to take on Australia.
Meanwhile, Jason Roy keeps his place after his second innings half-century against Ireland, whilst spinner Jack Leach is dropped in favour of a pace heavy attack but will stay and train with the squad. This means Moeen Ali, who has averaged just 23 with the ball since the start of last summer, is the sole spinner in the squad.
What the selectors said
“Though it is unusual to select a squad of 14 for a home Test, there are compelling reasons to do so here," national selector, Ed Smith, said about the slightly bloated squad.
"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.
“The wider circumstances - a successful home World Cup campaign followed so quickly by a home Ashes series - are unprecedented. It feels sensible to select an expanded squad and leave a number of bowling options open for the final team selection.”
The ECB also announced that Durham all-rounder Stokes has also been reappointed as vice-captain ahead of the series on the recommendation of Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket Ashley Giles and ECB Chief Executive Tom Harrison, in a surprise move that sees him assume the role from Jos Buttler.
The full England Ashes squad
Joe Root (capt) (Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonny Bairstow (wk) (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Notts), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (wk) (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Joe Denly (Kent), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone, Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)