The England Cricket Board have announced the 15-man squad for the forthcoming two-test series against New Zealand this afternoon. The games will take place at Lord’s (starting Wednesday 2nd) and at Edgbaston the following Thursday with the visitors preparing for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship final that will take place at Hampshire’s Rose Bowl between June 18th and 22nd.
Uncapped duo James Bracey (a wicketkeeper that plays for Gloucestershire who already has a hundred and 4 fifties in the 5 games that he’s played) and Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson (who has 29 wickets at an average of 14.72 including taking 9 wickets in the second game of the season against Glamorgan last month) are part of the squad with both players already spending time around the squad during the past 18 months during the Covid bio-secure bubbles while Somerset bowler Craig Overton is looking to add to his 4 appearances in this format, the last of which came a couple of years ago against Australia at Old Trafford.
This squad doesn’t include the injured Jofra Archer (elbow) and Ben Stokes (fractured finger), as well as those players who have been at the Indian Premier League T20 tournament – Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes – as those players who play in all formats for England, are being rested ahead of a busy summer as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India all tour England between June and September before England head to Bangladesh before the T20 World Cup in India in October and November.
The New Zealand squad contains Will Young, who already has 2 hundreds to his name in England this summer following a short spell at Durham (including one in last week’s home win against Worcestershire), as well as Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy and Rachin Ravindra who are all uncapped at test level.
Conway and Colin de Grandhomme will play for Somerset and Hampshire respectively for the T20 Blast competition after the World Test Championship final (the competition starts on Wednesday 9th June) while captain Kane Williamson is also set to play in the Hundred competition starting in late July.
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What does England coach Chris Silverwood think?
“James Bracey and Ollie Robinson deserve their call ups to the Test squad. They have been consistent performers in the County Championship this season and over the past 18 months, have excelled for the Lions on the field and in the various camps they have been involved in.
“Having spent all winter and last summer in the company of our established Test players, they have immersed themselves in preparing and understanding what it takes to play at this level. The environment and culture will be something they are used to, and should they be in a position to make their Test debuts, they will be ready to showcase their skills.
“They are both resilient characters and have demonstrated to me, the captain and coaches that they have the desire, temperament and the ability to continually improve to give themselves every chance of succeeding on the international stage.”
New Zealand Tour Itinerary:
May 25th-28th – Intra-squad friendly (Taunton)
June 2nd-6th – 1st Test (Lord’s)
June 10th-14th – 2nd Test (Edgbaston)
England Squad In Full:
Joe Root (c), James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes (wk), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood
New Zealand Squad In Full:
Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Devon Conway, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling (wk), Will Young