Stuart Broad has been selected in England’s Test squad for their first Test against the Proteas on 6 July.
England National Cricket Selectors have named a 12-man squad for the first Test match against South Africa, starting at Lord’s on Thursday.
Broad has made the cut, after an injury in Nottinghamshire’s County win over Leicestershire threatened to rule him out of the opening Test.
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Joe Root, who was appointed England’s Test captain in February, will lead the team out for the first time on Thursday.
Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones is the only uncapped Test player in the squad, after he made his ODI debut last month at Lord’s against Ireland, with an England Test debut on his home county ground now on the cards.
The 29-year-old has taken 22 wickets in the County Championship during this campaign.
Durham’s Mark Wood returns to the Test squad for the first time since October 2015.
Jake Ball [right knee] and Chris Woakes [side strain] were not available for selection because of injury.
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‘There is great excitement around the first Test of the summer, and with the start of a new era under the captaincy of Joe Root this is an exciting time for English cricket,’ said national selector James Whitaker.
‘Toby Roland-Jones is a player we have been monitoring for quite some time, and deserves his chance after a strong couple of seasons with Middlesex in red ball cricket. He came close last year when he was named in the Test squad against Pakistan in July.
‘Toby has been in good form this campaign and his ability to seam the ball, along with the fact that he can score useful runs down the order gives us a number of options.
‘Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance could play his first Test since October. He has been in fantastic touch with the bat in the Championship, averaging over 100. He deserves to be included and we feel that he will add maturity and experience to our middle-order.
‘On behalf of the selectors, I would like to wish Joe Root, Trevor Bayliss and all the squad the very best for what will be a competitive series against South Africa.’
The Proteas are currently playing the England Lions in a warm-up match.
ALSO READ: Proteas batsmen dominate Lions
England Squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire, captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire, wk), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), Keaton Jennings (Durham), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Wood (Durham)
Test Series Fixtures:
– First Test Match, England v South Africa, 6-10 July, Lord’s Cricket Ground, London
– Second Test Match, England v South Africa, 14-18 July, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
– Third Investec Test Match, England v South Africa, 27-31 July, Kia Oval, London
– Fourth Investec Test Match, England v South Africa, 4-8 August, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester