England announce squad for 1st Test vs Pakistan; Anderson misses out: The England and Wales Cricket Board announced a 12-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan scheduled to play from July 14 at Lord’s. England’s bowling spearhead, James Anderson has been ruled out due to an ongoing shoulder injury, while paceman Toby Roland-Jones and left-handed batsman Gary Ballance have earned surprised call ups.
Anderson has not recovered from the injury sustained in the third Test match against Sri Lanka last month during a three-match series England clinched 2-0. The 33-year-old right arm pacer was discovered to have developed a stress fracture to his shoulder blade having originally been scanned for a slight muscle niggle in his back. James Anderson became the World’s No.1 bowler last month during the Sri Lanka series.
All-rounder Ben Stokes also did not make the cut after undergoing knee surgery in May last. Jos Buttler should consider himself unlucky not to see his name in the squad after outstanding recent form. Pacer Jake Ball could make a debut in place of Anderson in the XI as he did not get a chance in the three-match Test series against Sri Lanka.
ECB National Selector James Whitaker said: “With an injury to James Anderson, there is an opportunity for Toby Rowland-Jones who has been a consistent performer in the County Championship over the last few years and deserves his chance,”.
“Gary Ballance is recalled to the Test squad for the first time since the winter series in South Africa and could play his first Test for England in 12 months. He has been in recent form with the bat for Yorkshire in the Championship. Gary is mentally strong and we feel that he will add quality and experience to England’s middle-order.
“Pakistan will give us a stiff challenge during this series and we can expect some fantastic cricket from both sides over the next couple of months.”
England squad: Alastair Cook (C), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow (WK), Gary Ballance, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Toby Roland-Jones, James Vince, Chris Woakes
Pakistan squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Mohammad Hafeez, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfraz Ahmed (WK), Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan