Uncapped fast bowler Jofra Archer has been included in England’s 14-man squad announced on Saturday for the Ashes 2019 opener against Australia, with all-rounder Ben Stokes re-appointed as vice-captain.
Archer and Stokes enjoyed starring roles in England’s thrilling World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord’s on July 14, with the all-rounder ensuring the hosts drew level with the Black Caps total in regulation play before the former bowled the decisive Super Over that sealed victory.
The 24-year-old Archer who only became England qualified earlier this year, could now make his Test debut when the first of a five-match series starts at Edgbaston on August 1.
Since making his debut in 2016, Archer has claimed 131 wickets in 28 first-class matches at an average of 23.44.
Meanwhile, Stokes has been brought back to his position as Joe Root’s deputy after being stripped of the vice-captaincy following a late-night brawl in September 2017. He was subsequently cleared on a charge of affray last year, with Jos Buttler acting as vice-captain.
Both Buttler and Stokes were rested from the one-off Test against Ireland that England won by 143 runs at Lord’s on Friday, with veteran seamer James Anderson also returning to the squad after missing the match due to a side injury.
Though 10 of the 11 players who defeated Ireland have been included, there is no place for left-arm spinner Jack Leach following his man-of-the-match heroics that saw the nightwatchman make a career-best 92 in England’s second innings.
Moeen Ali has been retained as the lone specialist spinner.
England’s squad for the first Ashes Test:
Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes (vice-captain), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.