England name 16-man squad for the Ashes 2017-18

The selectors handed maiden calls to wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes and pacer Craig Overton.

England team. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

England selectors named the team for the Ashes 2017-18. They have picked a pretty balanced squad and will hope the duo of Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss can defend the Urn down under. The selectors handed maiden calls to wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes and pacer Craig Overton.

Opener Alex Hales missed out on making a cut as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) decided to back Mark Stoneman with the responsibility along with Alastair Cook. For the No.3 spot they have two options in James Vince and Gary Ballance. While Vince is making a comeback to the squad after more than a year as he was out of contention since the Pakistan series in August.

National Selector James Whitaker, talking about the squad said: “A tour of Australia is the ultimate test for our squad. We have provided Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss with a well-balanced squad with options in all areas,” he was quoted by ecb.co.uk

“After a successful summer, having won the Test series against South Africa and West Indies, there is real competition for places and we have selected a squad that will work hard and compete against Australia, aiming to win the Ashes,” Whitaker added.

Ben Foakes

Foakes has played 76 first-class games, has scored 3882 runs at an average of 42.65. He has 8 hundreds and 20 half centuries to his name. The Surrey keeper has been in good form of late in FC cricket but more than that his work behind the wickets impressed the selectors as thus he was picked the backup.

“Surrey’s Ben Foakes deserves his selection for the first time at this level. His glovework has been exemplary and he is regarded as a wicketkeeper of the highest quality. He has the ability to contribute with the bat scoring over 680 runs in the Championship this summer at an average of 45.33,” James Whitaker stated.

“Craig Overton, who like Foakes has come through the International Pathway, has been involved in the England set-up this summer with the Lions and the IT20 squad. He will now get his chance at Test level. We have been impressed with the way he has led Somerset’s attack over a long period of time. He has taken 43 Championship wickets this summer and will relish playing in Australian conditions,” he added.

Ashes 2017-18 Fixtures:

1st Test- 23-27 November: England v Australia, Gabba, Brisbane

2nd Test- 2-6 December: England v Australia (D/N), Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

3rd Test- 14-18 December: England v Australia, WACA Ground, Perth

4th Test- 26-30 December: England v Australia, MCG, Melbourne

5th Test- 4-8 January: England v Australia, SCG, Sydney

England squad

Joe Root (C), Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, Dawid Malan, James Vince, Gary Balance, Jonny Bairstow (Wk), Ben Foakes (wk), Ben Stokes (VC), Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jake Ball, Craig Overton, Mason Crane