Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Uncapped leg-spinner Adil Rashid has been included in England’s 13-man squad for the first Ashes Test against Australia, which starts on July 8 in Cardiff.
Pace bowler Steven Finn was also drafted into the side despite not having played a Test match since the last Ashes series in England, which took place in July 2013.
Even though Rashid has yet to be capped, he may replace all-rounder Moeen Ali after he faltered with both the bat and ball in the recent two-Test series against New Zealand, which ended as a 1-1 draw. Ali ended up scoring 104 runs at an average of 26 and took five wickets at an average of 50.
However, England head coach Trevor Bayliss confirmed that he may consider including two spinners in the side depending on the conditions in Cardiff.
Meanwhile, batsman Gary Ballance has retained his spot in the side despite only making 36 runs at an average of nine during the Test series against New Zealand.
Adam Lyth is set to open the batting with captain Alastair Cook after he scored his maiden Test century against New Zealand in the second Test at Headingley.
“Adil Rashid’s inclusion provides Alastair and Trevor with plenty of bowling options and the surface at Cardiff will dictate who makes the final XI,” national selector James Whitaker said. “Within the squad there are players who have plenty of experience of Ashes cricket and that knowledge will I’m sure be useful for the players who are yet to experience a home Ashes series.
“There has been some very good cricket played so far this summer and we are aware that we will need to build on that over the next seven weeks if we are to win back the Ashes. On behalf of the selectors I’d like to congratulate the 13 players selected for the first Investec Test and wish them as well as Trevor all the very best for what will I’m sure be a very competitive and entertaining series.”
England squad for the first Ashes Test: Alastair Cook (capt), Adam Lyth, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Adil Rashid, Steven Finn