England announce playing XI for one-off Test against Ireland; pacer Josh Tongue set to make debut
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have announced the playing XI for their upcoming one-off Test against Ireland at Lord's from June 1 onwards.
The Ben Stokes-led side will kick-start the English summer against the Irish in a contest that also serves as preparation for the upcoming Ashes series, which will begin from June 16.
England continue to show tremendous faith in their opening combination of Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett. The left hand-right hand combination found success in Pakistan and New Zealand over the last few months.
Newly appointed vice-captain Ollie Pope, Joe Root, and Ben Stokes comprise the middle order. The batting unit has tremendous depth, with Jonny Bairstow returning from injury and featuring alongside Harry Brook in the lower-middle order.
Bairstow will also keep wickets for the side as Ben Foakes is absent from the squad.
As far as the bowling unit is concerned, England have once again stuck with the three seamers and one spinner approach, with skipper Ben Stokes acting as the fourth seam bowling option.
The all-rounder has not bowled much in the recent past and spent the majority of the 2023 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign on the sidelines due to injury. Stokes bowled one over for the Chennai Super Kings in their 12-run win over the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and conceded 18 runs off it.
Veteran pacer Stuart Broad leads the pace attack and has rookies Matthew Potts and Josh Tongue for company, with the latter making his debut. The Worcestershire based 25-year-old has played 47 first-class matches, claiming 162 wickets at an average of 26.04.
James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, who are primed to be heavily involved against Australia, have not been selected in the playing XI. Both seamers suffered niggles during their respective stints in the County Championship. Jack Leach is the lead spinner of the team for the upcoming contest.
England playing XI for one-off Test against Ireland
Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Matthew Potts, Josh Tongue (Debut), Jack Leach.
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