After a dream World Cup debut, English fast bowler Jofra Archer has earned his maiden Test call-up after he was named in the 14 member squad for the first Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston next week. Archer is currently recovering from a side injury is in line to make his Test debut in the opening Ashes Test.
Jofra Archer has hogged the limelight in the recent past after bowling the match-winning super over. Though the scores were level even in the Super over, England won on the basis of hitting more boundaries. If Archer manages to recover in time before the 1st Test, he might well be drafted in. However, he might not recover fully from a left side injury which has troubled for the major part of the World Cup.
It will be important for England to manage the workload of Archer who last bowled in a first-class match back in September last year. Archer played for Sussex without much trouble and will be monitored till the start of the Ashes tour. England might not rush Archer as England have a settled bowling lineup who did a great job against Ireland.
Meanwhile, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes who was rested against Ireland has returned to the squad. Lewis Gregory and Jack Leach who was part of the squad during the one-off Test against Ireland has been left out. Ben Stokes has got his Test vice-captaincy back for the first time after being involved in a street-side brawl in Bristol back in 2017.
England chief selector Ed Smith stated that there re no reason to make wholesome changes in the batting order after England was bowled out for a paltry 85 runs in the first session of the one-off Test against Ireland.
“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.
“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.”
England squad for first Ashes Test: Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.