England’s squad for the all-important Ashes series has been announced today. The selectors have named a 16-man squad that will tour down under this November. The wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes and pacer Craig Overton have earned their maiden national call-ups.
Mark Stoneman has been backed by the selectors which means that Alex Hales would mean that Alex Hales misses out. James Vince makes a return to the side and he would fight with Garry Ballance for the No.3 spot.
“A tour of Australia is the ultimate test for our squad. We have provided Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss with a well-balanced squad with options in all areas,” National Selector James Whitaker was quoted by ecb.co.uk.
“After a successful summer, having won the Test series against South Africa and West Indies, there is real competition for places and we have selected a squad that will work hard and compete against Australia, aiming to win the Ashes,” Whitaker added.
Ben Foakes, who has featured in 76 first-class games so far, has accounted for 3882 runs at an average of 42.65 to go with 8 hundreds and 20 half centuries. He has impressed with his wicketkeeping skills but would find it difficult to earn a place in the XI due to the presence of Jonny Bairstow.
“Surrey’s Ben Foakes deserves his selection for the first time at this level. His glovework has been exemplary and he is regarded as a wicketkeeper of the highest quality. He has the ability to contribute with the bat scoring over 680 runs in the Championship this summer at an average of 45.33,” James Whitaker stated.
“Craig Overton, who like Foakes has come through the International Pathway, has been involved in the England set-up this summer with the Lions and the IT20 squad. He will now get his chance at Test level. We have been impressed with the way he has led Somerset’s attack over a long period of time. He has taken 43 Championship wickets this summer and will relish playing in Australian conditions,” he added.
Ashes 2017-18 Fixtures:
1st Test- 23-27 November at Gabba, Brisbane
2nd Test- 2-6 December (D/N) at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
3rd Test- 14-18 December at WACA Ground, Perth
4th Test- 26-30 December at MCG, Melbourne
5th Test- 4-8 January at SCG, Sydney
England’s Ashes squad
Joe Root (C), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, James Vince, Gary Balance, Jonny Bairstow (Wk), Ben Foakes (wk), Ben Stokes (VC), Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Craig Overton, Mason Crane