Birmingham, July 31: World Cup-winner Jofra Archer will have to wait for his Test debut after the fast bowler was left out of the England side named Wednesday for the Ashes opener against Australia at Edgbaston.
The Barbados-born quick, who has been struggling with a side injury, was omitted from an original 14-man squad along with fellow pacemen Sam Curran and Olly Stone, who both featured in last week’s Test win against Ireland.
With the series comprising five Tests in six weeks, England have opted for caution in how they handle Archer, even though he made a sooner-than-expected return to action with Sussex in a Twenty20 match last week.
“Jofra is coming back from quite a serious injury and we looked at the conditions, about a team that can take 20 wickets here, and it allows him time to get absolutely fit,” England captain Joe Root said at Edgbaston.
James Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, returns to the side following a calf injury.
Anderson, who turned 37 on Tuesday, will again team up with regular new-ball partner Stuart Broad.
All-rounders Chris Woakes and Ben Stokes will provide seam-bowling support in the match starting Thursday.
Broad and Woakes, who will be playing on his Warwickshire home ground this week, took all 10 wickets between them as Ireland were shot out for just 38 in their second innings at Lord’s.
England had already settled on their top seven, with Root going back up to number three and Joe Denly dropping down to four as the hosts look to shore up their struggling batting order.
World Cup winners Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, rested against Ireland, return to a side where off-spinner Moeen Ali is the main specialist slow bowler.
Australia hold the Ashes but have not won a Test series away to England since 2001. (AFP)
England team for first Ashes Test:
Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (capt), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson