James Anderson will bolster England’s bowling attack after his return to a near full-strength Test squad for the upcoming Test series in South Africa.
Anderson, England’s record wicket-taker, has been picked in the 17-man touring party along with Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood. Bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali, who took a break from Test cricket after being dropped during the Ashes, remains unavailable.
The 37-year-old Jimmy managed just four overs in the Ashes last summer due to a recurring calf injury but has proved his fitness on a pre-tour fitness camp that began in Potchefstroom previous weekend. He though relocated to Cape Town due to persistent wet weather in central South Africa.
Wood is recovering from his injury but has been included in the hope that he can replicate the kind of performance he produced in his most recent Test performance – the man-of-the-match display in the victory over West Indies in St Lucia in February.
Bairstow, currently working with Anderson and Wood, made his return to the squad having been dropped for the two-match Test series in New Zealand.
“With James Anderson and Mark Wood returning to the squad, Saqib Mahmood is the unfortunate player to miss out,” England team selector Ed Smith was quoted as saying in his statement.
England will play four Tests – the first starting on December 26 – three one-day internationals and three T20Is in South Africa.
England Test squad for South Africa tour:
Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.