James Bracey and Ollie Robinson: England have included a couple of uncapped players in their squad for New Zealand Tests.
England have named a 15-member squad for their upcoming two-match Test series against New Zealand beginning from June 2 at the Lord’s.
England, who last played a Test against India in Ahmedabad, haven’t included any player who had taken part in Indian Premier League 2021 to give them an “extended break”. As a result, the likes of Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes will miss the opportunity of playing against the second-ranked Test team.
Test vice-captain Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer will continue to work on their respective injuries to be fit before a five-match Test series against India in August-September.
James Bracey and Ollie Robinson handed Test call-ups
The absence of numerous first-choice players has resulted in maiden Test call-ups for wicket-keeper batsman James Bracey and fast bowler Ollie Robinson. Representing Gloucestershire in the ongoing season of County Championship, Bracey has scored 478 runs in 10 innings at an average of 53.11.
Robinson, on the other hand, has picked 29 wickets in eight innings for Sussex at an average and strike rate of 14.72 and 35.3 respectively.
“James Bracey and Ollie Robinson deserve their call ups to the Test squad. They have been consistent performers in the County Championship this season and over the past 18 months, have excelled for the Lions on the field and in the various camps they have been involved in.
“Having spent all winter and last summer in the company of our established Test players, they have immersed themselves in preparing and understanding what it takes to play at this level. The environment and culture will be something they are used to, and should they be in a position to make their Test debuts, they will be ready to showcase their skills,” England head coach and chief selector Chris Silverwood said in a statement.
Craig Overton returns
Fast bowler Craig Overton, who had played the last of his four Tests in Ashes 2019, has earned a recall on the back of a stupendous season for Somerset so far. Having picked 32 wickets at an average and strike rate of 13.96 and 38.6 respectively, Overton is currently the highest wicket-taker among pacer in County Championship 2021.
62 wickets @ 13.71 since the start of last season! 🔥
— Somerset Cricket 🏏 (@SomersetCCC) May 18, 2021
England squad for New Zealand Tests – Joe Root (c), James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood.