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Ben Stokes, Rory Burns and Jofra Archer return for first two India Tests; Jonny Bairstow rested

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Ben Stokes will make his comeback in the India series

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Ben Stokes, Rory Burns and Jofra Archer return for first two India Tests; Jonny Bairstow rested

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SportsCafe Desk

01/21/2021

The ECB have announced the England squad for the first two Tests against India and have included the duo of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, both of whom were rested for the Sri Lanka tour. While opener Rory Burns, also, makes a comeback, England have rested the duo of Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood.

England have received a huge boost ahead of their four-match Test series against India next month as Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, after spending time away from the game, have been named in the squad for the first two Test matches against India. Both Archer, the breakthrough star from Ashes 2019, and Stokes, the country’s second-highest run-getter in Test cricket in 2020, were rested from the Sri Lanka series due to bubble fatigue.

But the duo will be featuring in the first two Tests against India, both of which are must-win games for England in their quest to reach the World Test Championship Final. While for Stokes, who featured in the 4-0 defeat in 2016, this will be the second tour of India, 25-year-old Archer will be touring both India and the subcontinent for the first time.

Stokes and Archer are not the only ones making their comeback, however, as experienced opener Rory Burns has also been named in the squad. Burns, who had a rough 2020, missed the Sri Lanka tour due to the birth of his child, but has been picked as one of the openers for the first two Tests. The left-hander is expected to be contesting with both Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley for a spot at the top of the order. 

Among batsmen, Dan Lawrence, who impressed on debut in Galle, scoring 73 and 21*, has retained his place in the squad, while Ollie Pope, who is recovering from a shoulder injury he sustained last summer, will be added once he passes a fitness Test.  Jos Buttler and Ben Foakes will fight for the wicket-keeper's slot, with the former currently in pole position to take up the role, Jonny Bairstow, however, has been rested for the first two Tests.

There are no surprises among the pacers, as all of Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Olly Stone have been picked, while Mark Wood, who is set to play both Sri Lanka Tests, has been rested to manage his workload. Sam Curran has also been rested alongside Wood, while Chris Woakes has retained his place in the squad. Dom Bess, Jack Leach and Moeen Ali are the three spinners in the squad, while Amar Virdi and Matt Parkinson have been picked as reserves. 

England Men’s Test Squad:

Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).

Reserves:

James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Amar Virdi (Surrey).

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