England have named their squad for the forthcoming Ashes series to be played in Australia. Gary Ballance and James Vince have made their comeback into the England setup. Mark Wood has failed to find a place in the mix as fast bowler has not fully recovered from ankle injury sustained during home series against South Africa.
Ben Stokes has been named vice-captain of the side even though he has arrested by the Police after getting into a brawl in a bar in Bristol. Tom Westley has been dropped from the side after the batsman consecutive failures against South Africa and West Indies at home. Opener Mark Stoneman and middle-order batsman Dawid Malan did just enough in the series against West Indies to be included in the 16-member squad for Ashes series against Australia.
England’s Chief Selector James Whitaker said that selection committee does have hopes of James Vince producing the goods with the bat in Australia. He further stated that Vince is aggressive player and surfaces in Australia will suit his style of play. Whitaker said that Vince’s previous experience for England will help to adapt to the conditions quickly in Australia.
Vince, Malan and Balance will all be vying for a place in the final XI picked for the first game of the Ashes series at The Gabba, Brisbane on 23rd November. All three batsman will be given ample chances of prove their mettle and stake a claim for a place in the lineup in the following warm-up games prior to the first Test.
Many Cricket Pundits are surprised that James Vince and Gary Ballance have been selected for the Ashes series and view it as a big risk if anything goes wrong for England in Australia.Vince has looked out of sorts at the Test Level while Balance has been poor at the international level for England. The selection of two players is an indication of domestic circuit producing not enough quality Test batsmen to challenge the current crop of players in the England setup.
Mark Wood’s exclusion is a big loss for England as pace bowler has ability to reverse swing and could have been a handful on quick pitches in Australia. His is quickest of the fast bowling lot currently playing for England at the moment. Another player who could have been vital for England is Toby-Roland Jones who has suffered from a stress fracture and has been ruled out of the upcoming series in Australia.
Uncapped Craig Overton has earned his maiden call-up for England. Jake Ball is another pace bowler who has been selected for the series. Steven Finn found no favor as Middlesex fast bowler has been left out of the squad. Surrey’s Ben Foakes is a strong candidate for a place in the side if England decides to release Jonny Bairstow from his wicket-keeping duties. Young leg-spinner Mason Crane has been picked for the series despite playing 27 first class games for Hampshire. The squad is set to be formally announced on 2nd October on Monday.
Shane Bond has been named as bowling consultant for England while Paul Collingwood will up take of batting consultant for Ashes series. Both the players will be a part of England setup that will travel to Australia this winter.
England 16-man Squad: Joe Root (c), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jake Ball, James Vince, Moeen Ali, Mason Crane, Ben Foakes Craig Overton.