Gareth Batty earns recall, Ben Duckett, Haseeb Hameed new faces in England's squad for Bangladesh tour
After a series of prolonged deliberations, withdrawals, and controversies, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have finally announced the Test and ODI squads for the tour of Bangladesh that commences on September 30. Ben Duckett, the 24-year-old left-handed wicket-keeper batsman, who has scored 2706 runs in all formats this domestic season, and the 19-year-old right-handed batsman Haseeb Hameed, who has scored 1129 first-class runs at 51.31 with 4 centuries in his short career, have earned their maiden England call-ups.
Two points of contention were raised after Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales pulled out of the tour citing apprehensions about their own security in the Asian nation that suffered a terror attack on July 1, wherein a bakery in Dhaka was attacked by armed gunmen. One was that Alastair Cook needed a new opening partner, and the second was that England needed a limited-overs captain.
While the former was addressed when Jos Buttler was named the captain for the 50-over fixtures, the latter was addressed when the squad was out, as Hameed might as well be seen accompanying Cook when the England captain strides out to bat in the first Test.
Apart from these two uncapped players, a late Test recall, that at best can be termed as a reinforcement for the subcontinental conditions, for the 38-year-old off-spinner Gareth Batty, who has taken 41 first-class wickets this season, signifies the emphasis that England have given to their spin-bowling arsenal, that already has the likes of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.
To make sure that there are no qualms about the possible injury issues and keeping in mind the tour to India that looms ahead, Zafar Ansari, the Surrey left-arm orthodox spinner has also been picked for the Test squad as the fourth spinner. Duckett is the only one, amongst the new faces, to have made it to both the squads.
Other than these developments, rest of the squad has pretty much remained unchanged and the regular members of the Test and the ODI sides have retained their places with the exception of James Vince, who finds himself out of the Test team due to his string of poor performances during the recently-concluded home season, but finds a place in the limited-overs squad.
Jos Buttler has also been recalled for Test team, as a consequence of his impressive performances in the ODIs and the belief that the management has shown by making him the stand-in ODI captain.
Jake Ball, who was picked as a replacement for the injured James Anderson for the Sri Lanka leg of England’s home season, has made it to the ODI squad as well, and Sam Billings also makes it to the 50-over squad.
Tests: Alastair Cook (C), Haseeb Hameed, Joe Root, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Mark Wood, Gareth Batty, Zafar Ansari, Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Ben Duckett.
ODIs: Jos Buttler (C), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Sam Billings, Liam Dawson, Ben Duckett, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.