England have called up uncapped duo Dawid Malan and Tom Westley to their squad for the third Test against the Proteas at The Oval, starting on Thursday.
In the aftermath of their crushing 340-run defeat to the Proteas in the second Test at Trent Bridge, England have opted to bring two new faces into the squad for next week’s clash at The Oval, and England have confirmed that one of them will make their debut.
Westley has already been pencilled in at No 3, with Malan there as batting cover. Gary Ballance is out with a broken finger, but he could well have been removed from the side regardless, after posting scores of 20, 34, 27 and four in what was his third stint with England. The Zimbabwean-born player, who’s played 23 Tests for England, is the only player out of the squad.
The inclusion of Malan is certainly of interest to the South Africans. The 29-year-old, who was educated at Paarl Boys High School and began his cricketing career with Boland, made his debut for England in the deciding T20 International against the Proteas last month. He scored 78 off 44 balls and has been a consistent performer with Middlesex in red-ball cricket. He averages 42.50 in the County Championship this season, with a highest score of 115.
Westley, 28, has been in good form for Essex, where he has scored 478 runs in the County Championship this season, including two centuries, at an average of 53.11. He also impressed for the England Lions last winter and in Worcester last month, where he scored 106 not out against South Africa’s full-strength bowling attack.
ENGLAND SQUAD: Joe Root (Yorkshire) (Captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Liam Dawson (Hampshire), Keaton Jennings (Durham), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex), Ben Stokes (Durham), Tom Westley (Essex), Mark Wood (Durham)
Photo: Harry Trump/Getty Images