The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a 16-member squad for the first two Tests of the highly anticipated Ashes series against Australia. This squad consists of the same players who have been actively participating in the ongoing one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s.
Ben Stokes will assume the role of captain for the first time in an Ashes series. The talented all-rounder has been instrumental in nurturing a group of match-winners, who have achieved an impressive record of 10 victories in their last 12 Test matches.
Seamer Josh Tongue has been retained in the squad following a remarkable debut against Ireland earlier this week. The Worcestershire seamer showcased his skills by claiming three wickets on the second day of the match, contributing significantly to England’s imminent triumph over Ireland at Lord’s.
Initially called up due to injury concerns surrounding James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, who were rested for the Ireland Test, Tongue’s inclusion underscores his impressive performance and he is expected to remain in contention for the Ashes when the first Test commences at Edgbaston on June 16.
England squad for Ashes
Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
Fitness Concerns Loom as England Prepares for Ashes Opener
In the one-off Test against Ireland, England opted to rest Chris Woakes, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, James Anderson, and Dan Lawrence.
However, it is anticipated that both Mark Wood and Anderson will make their way back into the squad, potentially replacing Josh Tongue and Matthew Potts, for the opening Test of the Ashes series.
One intriguing aspect to watch will be whether England chooses to play Stuart Broad alongside James Anderson in the first Test. Broad showcased his skills by claiming a remarkable 5-wicket haul in the initial innings of the Test against Ireland at Lord’s.
Given the significance of managing the workload for the experienced pace duo, it remains to be seen if they will be unleashed together in the upcoming Test.
England is also grappling with concerns surrounding the fitness of their captain, Ben Stokes. Stokes has been battling a persistent knee issue and exhibited visible discomfort after taking a catch to dismiss Ireland’s Curtis Campher on Saturday. The team management will closely monitor his condition as they prepare for the Ashes series.
Ashes 2023: Full Schedule
1st Test: England v Australia, 16-20 June, Edgbaston, Birmingham
2nd Test: England v Australia, 28 June-2 July, Lord’s, London
3rd Test: England v Australia, 6-10 July, Headingley, Leeds
4th Test: England v Australia, 19-23 July, Old Trafford, Manchester
5th Test: England v Australia, 27-31 Oval, London