James Anderson, Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid called up as England aim series comeback
England have recalled pace spearhead James Anderson, all-rounder Ben Stokes and leg-spinner Adil Rashid for the second Test against Pakistan which begins at Old Trafford on Friday. With the visitors winning the Lord’s Test by 75 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the four-match series, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have taken swift action by making sweeping changes to the Test squad as they look to make a comeback in the series.
The return of the big guns like Anderson and Stokes – two vital members of the English Test side – is sure to add more flavour to the series which saw a thrilling match being played out at perhaps the most iconic cricket venue in the world. While all eyes were on Mohammad Amir, who was playing his first Test match since the Lord’s Test in 2010, it was leg-spinner Yasir Shah and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq who shined for Pakistan giving them the edge in what already looks like a promising series for the neutrals.
Heading into the series on the back of consecutive series victories over South Africa and Sri Lanka, the hosts were overwhelming favourites for the Lord’s tie but were left to rue their decision of not opting for Anderson and Stokes who were instead asked to play County championship matches for their respective sides in order to make their way back to full fitness after recent injury troubles.
Speaking after the Lord’s defeat, former skipper Michael Vaughan tore into the English selectors for not providing Alastair Cook with the best players to compete.
“No selector should ever have the power to tell a captain he cannot have a certain player. That is prehistoric thinking,” Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph. “Cook needs Anderson’s presence. That much was evident at Lord’s. Yes, Jimmy is quiet but he intimidates teams because of his previous feats. They treat him with respect.”
Vaughan has got his wish as Anderson, who bowled 22 overs for Lancashire picking up 3 wickets, as well as Stokes, who bowled more than 30 overs, has proved their fitness enough to be back in the scheme of things for England. Both are certain to be included in the playing eleven for the second Test while Rashid also stands a big chance to play as the Old Trafford has been known to assist the slower bowlers.
Pakistan leg-spinner Yasir Shah’s Man-of-the-Match winning performance in the Lord’s Test surface on a surface which was not particularly helpful for the spinners might leave a huge impact in the way the England team management go ahead with the preparations for the next match.
England squad: Alastair Cook, Alex Hales, Joe Root, James Vince, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Adil Rashid, Steven Finn, Jake Ball.