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ENG vs IND | Haseeb Hameed, Bairstow make squad for first two Tests; Ben Stokes returns

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Hameed has been named in the Test squad to face India

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ENG vs IND | Haseeb Hameed, Bairstow make squad for first two Tests; Ben Stokes returns

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SportsCafe Desk

07/21/2021

The ECB have named a 17-man squad for England’s first two Tests against India, and the list includes the name of Haseeb Hameed, who made his Test debut against India five years ago. Ben Stokes also makes his return after missing the New Zealand Tests, while Bairstow has also been included.

England’s renaissance man Haseeb Hameed has been named in the squad for the first two Tests against India next month. Hameed made his Test debut against India in 2016 and was impressive, but a host of issues saw him fall out of favour. He then resurrected his career by moving to Nottinghamshire, and excellent form in the County Championship - 642 runs @ 45.85 - saw him be called up as a cover for the New Zealand Tests. The sustained good form has seen the 24-year-old, currently representing County XI in a warm-up game against India, be named in the 17-man squad for the first two Tests. 

Despite Hameed’s inclusion though, the trio of Rory Burns, Dom Sibley and Zak Crawley retain their places. Crawley and Sibley, in particular, came under fire after abject performances against New Zealand, but the Silverwood-led selection panel has decided to give an extended rope to the two top-order batters, who have been named in the squad. Joining Sibley, Hameed, Burns and Crawley is also Jonny Bairstow, who could be in line to play his first home Test in two years. Bairstow played in the Asia stretch, against Sri Lanka and India, but had only posted 3 ducks across his last 4 Test innings.

In what comes as encouraging news for the hosts, the first two Tests will also see the return of Ben Stokes. Stokes missed the New Zealand Tests due to a finger injury, but the vice-captain has been named in the squad after being deemed fit to play long-form cricket. Stokes made his international comeback in the ODis against Pakistan, where he admitted to playing with considerable pain.

Jofra Archer misses out due to injury, as does Chris Woakes. Woakes, after featuring in the ODI series against Sri Lanka, has not represented the Three Lions. Notably, Woakes did not play a single Test in the subcontinent stretch.

Ollie Robinson has been named in the squad after being cleared to play for England, as has Ollie Pope, who has recovered from injury. However, there is yet no place for Dawid Malan, who was rumoured to be in line to feature in the series. 

England Men’s Test Squad

Joe Root (Yorkshire) Captain, James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Wood (Durham)

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