England vs Pakistan 2016: England announce their squad; James Anderson ruled unfit
The England Cricket board has announced the team for the first cricket test match against Pakistan. In what can be seen a massive setback to the hosts, premier fast bowler James Anderson has been ruled out of the first match due to a shoulder injury.
Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones has been called up to the team for the very first time, while Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance has earned a recall to the team.
Ben Stokes is another player who is suffering from an injury. However, coach Trevor Bayliss has hinted that he might be included as a pure batsman for the first test.
"Like always, selection is very opinionated, and they could have picked him but the lack of cricket in the last few weeks has meant they've gone that way," Alastair Cook, the England captain, said.
Also, it has been confirmed that Joe Root will shift one place higher to bat at number 3, and Gary Ballance who has played much of his cricket at number 3 will find his place in the middle order.
"It's a conversation we've had over the last week, it's the right thing to do, he's our best player, and it's quite an Australian thing to do. There's no reason why he won't score the same amount of runs as at No. 4", Cook said on Root's promotion.
James Vince who did not have a very happy series against Sri Lanka retains his spot ahead of Jos Buttler.
However, Jos Buttler who has been in sparkling form with the bat in the limited overs format was not picked even as there were strong indication that he might be included as a batsman if the team management is not too satisfied with his wicket-keeping skills. Cook believed that one reason why Buttler was not recalled is the fact that he has not played red ball cricket for quite some time now.
Nottinghamshire seamer, Jake Ball who was included in the squad for the Sri Lanka series might get to debut in the first match, and he will compete with Roland-Jones for the third seamer's slot.
The first match of the series will be played at Lords on July 14.
England Squad: Alastair Cook (C), Alex Hales, Gary Ballance, Joe Root, James Vince, Jonny Bairstow (W), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, Steven Finn, Toby Roland-Jones