Fast bowlers James Anderson and Mark Wood and wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow have been named in the squad for England’s Test series in South Africa.
Wood and Anderson were sidelined from the recent tour of New Zealand by injury. Bairstow was dropped on the back of a poor stretch of form in Test cricket.
All-rounder Moeen Ali has not been included in the 17-man squad. Leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, who hasn’t been capped at Test level, and inexperienced batsmen Dominic Sibley and Zak Crawley have been included.
‘It is not predicted that Mark Wood will be available for selection for the earliest matches. However, he will travel with the team and continue his rehabilitation work with the medical staff on tour. There is no exact date given for his return, but the medical team is working towards him becoming fully available for selection during the tour,’ said national selector Ed Smith.
‘With that in mind, and given the extended period that James and Mark have had on the sidelines due to injury, it was sensible to have a 17-man squad.
‘Moeen, who asked to take a break from Test cricket last summer, remains unavailable for Test selection.
‘Jonny returns to the England squad after missing out on the New Zealand tour. Jonny, Mark and James are already in South Africa on a training camp ahead of the Test tour.’
The Proteas and England will contest four Tests in Centurion, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Johannesburg between 26 December 2019 and 28 January 2020.
Squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.
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