England have included right-arm spinner Adil Rashid in the 13-man squad for the first Test of the five-match series against India starting August 1 in Birmingham. Also Read - SA vs ENG 2020, 2nd T20I Match Report: Dawid Malan's Fifty Guides England to Four-Wicket Win vs South Africa; Visitors Take Unassailable 2-0 Lead
Rashid returns to the squad for the first time since he played in the fifth Test against India at Chennai in December 2016. The leg-spinner has been in fine form in one-day cricket this summer taking 20 wickets at an average of 23.95 in England’s series victories over Australia and India. Also Read - IPL 2020: Moeen Ali Departs on Golden Duck Off Free-Hit in Eliminator Against SRH
If selected, Rashid, who signed a white-ball only deal with Yorkshire in February, will play his first Test in England having earned his previous 10 away from home. Also Read - Adil Rashid, Dawid Malan Shine as England Choke Australia to Take 1-0 Lead
Commenting on the selection of the squad, National Selector Ed Smith, said,”Adil Rashid also returns to the England Test squad. Before the selection meeting, Adil had confirmed his availability to play Test cricket for England for whole of this summer and the upcoming winter tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies. Following his earlier decision in February 2018, Adil has a white-ball only contract to play for Yorkshire this summer. That arrangement is unchanged by his selection for England.”
“However, Adil fully understands that if he wishes to be eligible for Test cricket in the 2019 season, he must have a county contract to play four-day cricket. Moving forward, England Test players must be committed to the county championship,” he added.
“Clearly, the one-off circumstances around Adil’s return to the Test squad are unusual. However, the selection panel was unanimous in believing that Adil should be selected in England’s squad,” he further said.
Essex seamer Jamie Porter has also earned his first call-up to the Test squad after impressing for Essex and the England Lions over past few seasons.
Speaking about his selection, Smith said, “Jamie Porter has been the outstanding seam bowler in the county championship over the past three seasons. He also impressed for the Lions v India A last week. With his resilience and appetite for wicket-taking, Jamie fully deserves his elevation to the England Test squad.”
Meanwhile, Sam Curran has also retained his place in the squad after his promising debut at Emerald Headingley.
Moeen Ali also returns to the squad for the first time since the tour of New Zealand. The selection panel also confirmed that right-arm pacer Chris Woakes requires more time to regain his form after recovering from his recent thigh and knee injury.
“The selection panel felt that Chris Woakes needed a little more time to regain full form. We are keen to avoid rushing him back from injury too soon. Chris will combine playing for Warwickshire in T20s alongside building up red ball fitness and workload with the England coaches.”
England Squad for First Test: Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Dawid Malan, Jamie Porter, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes