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England first Test squad: Rashid handed surprise recall

by Wisden Staff 5 minute read

England have handed a shock recall to Adil Rashid for the first Test against India at Edgbaston next week, while Moeen Ali, Jamie Porter and Sam Curran also feature in a 13-man squad.

Rashid had previously given up red-ball cricket to focus on the one-day game, but his fine form in England’s ODI games against India combined with the hot, dry summer have led national selector Ed Smith and his new colleague James Taylor to persuade the leg-spinner to reconsider.

The Yorkshire bowler, who took 20 wickets at 23.95 in England’s ODI series victories over Australia and India, returns to the squad for the the first time since he played in the fifth Test against India at Chennai in December 2016. It will be his first Test in England having earned his previous 10 away from home.

Jack Leach, right, was too short of bowling to be included, Smith said

Moeen Ali also makes his return to the Test squad having been left out of the Pakistan series after a trying winter. Somerset spinners Dom Bess – who played against Pakistan – and Jack Leach have been left out but join the squad in their preparations for the match, starting on Wednesday August 1.

Chris Woakes has been left out due to his ongoing recovery from thigh and knee injuries, leaving the door open to Jamie Porter. The Essex seamer earns his first call-up to the Test squad after impressing for Essex and the England Lions over the past few seasons. The 25-year-old was named County Championship Player of the Year in 2017 and was instrumental in Essex lifting their first County Championship title since 1992.

Joe Root will have two spinners at his disposal at Edgbaston

Smith said: “Before the selection meeting, Adil [Rashid] had confirmed his availability to play Test cricket for England for whole of this summer and the upcoming winter tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies. Following his earlier decision in February 2018, Adil has a white-ball only contract to play for Yorkshire this summer. That arrangement is unchanged by his selection for England. However, Adil fully understands that if he wishes to be eligible for Test cricket in the 2019 season, he must have a county contract to play four-day cricket. Moving forward, England Test players must be committed to the County Championship.

“Clearly, the one-off circumstances around Adil’s return to the Test squad are unusual. However, the selection panel was unanimous in believing that Adil should be selected in England’s squad.

“Jack Leach has had an exceptional run of bad luck which now leaves him short of bowling at the start of the series against India. Having broken his thumb before the first Test against Pakistan, Jack then suffered concussion on his return to county cricket. As a result, Jack has bowled only 37 overs in county or Lions cricket since first being injured. The selection panel felt it was too early for Jack to play in a Test match. Though he is not included in the XIII, Jack will join the team throughout preparations for the Test.

“The same applies to Dom Bess. Dom made an outstanding all-round contribution in his debut series against Pakistan and impressed everyone with his character and competitiveness. For different reasons, unfortunately Dom has also found opportunities scarce in championship cricket. Though not included in the XIII, he will also practice fully with the squad before the Test.

“Moeen Ali has taken his strong bowling form from England’s ODI team into the county championship, where he picked up eight wickets in a fine display against Somerset this week. Moeen is recalled to the XIII having missed out on selection against Pakistan.

“The selection panel felt that Chris Woakes needed a little more time to regain full form. We are keen to avoid rushing him back from injury too soon. Chris will combine playing for Warwickshire in T20s alongside building up red ball fitness and workload with the England coaches.

Moeen Ali has been rewarded for his return to form

“Jamie Porter has been the outstanding seam bowler in the county championship over the past three seasons. He also impressed for the Lions v India A last week. With his resilience and appetite for wicket-taking, Jamie fully deserves his elevation to the England Test squad. Sam Curran, also full of form and confidence in Lions and county cricket, retains his place in the squad after his promising debut at Emerald Headingley.”

England Test squad

Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
Jimmy Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire) wicketkeeper
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Jos Buttler (Lancashire)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Sam Curran (Surrey)
Keaton Jennings (Lancashire)
Dawid Malan (Middlesex)
Jamie Porter (Essex)
Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)
Ben Stokes (Durham)

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