England announce squad for first Test against Sri Lanka

England announce squad for first Test against Sri Lanka

Jake Ball
LONDON, ENGLAND – MAY 09: Jake Ball of Nottinghamshire bowling during the Specsavers County Championship match between Middlesex and Nottinghamshire at Lords Cricket Ground, on May 09, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

England have named uncapped batsman James Vince and fast bowler Jake Ball in their 12-man Test squad to play against Sri Lanka next week at Headingley. England hasn’t altered their top-order with Alex Hales and Nick Compton.

The Hampshire captain, James Vince has been called in after the retirement of James Taylor. He is coming into the squad with strong domestic form. He has averaged 44.50 in the County Championship, which includes a superb 119 against the defending champions Yorkshire at Headingley last month.

The seam bowler Jake Ball plays for Nottinghamshire in the domestic circle. He has been included in the squad as a back-up for quicks James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Steven Finn. Ball had a great start to the season for Nottinghamshire, taking 19 wickets at 21.16 in four matches.

“Both Jake Ball and James Vince thoroughly deserve their opportunity having performed well with the England Lions and starting the season in good form with their respective counties,” James Whitaker, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) National selector, said on the two new inclusions.

“Building on his success with the Lions in the winter, Jake has impressed with the ball and shown excellent control and skill in the opening matches of the County Championship. If selected, we are confident he will perform very well at international level.

“James has been a consistent performer for Hampshire and England Lions over the past few years. He is already well regarded by the England coaches in the short format and now has the opportunity to showcase his skills at Test level,” he added.

ECB has also named a 30-man “performance squad” of players they see as integral to their plans for the summer, with eight uncapped County players added to 22 contracted internationals.

The ECB’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss said: “This is the first time in two seasons we have selected an England Performance Squad.

“I feel that it is important that we do so to enable our staff to monitor effectively those players who are on our radar, but not necessarily part of one of the England teams.

“It is also important to point out that it does not confine the selectors to pick from this squad.”

England Test squad:

Alastair Cook (C), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Vince.

England Performance Squad:

Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Sam Billings, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Nick Compton, Alastair Cook, Tom Curran, Liam Dawson, Steven Finn, Mark Footitt, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Eoin Morgan, Jamie Overton, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

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