‘He looks like he bowls quite fast’

Worcestershire seamer Josh Tongue is set to make his England debut in this week’s one-off Test against Ireland at Lord’s, the country’s cricket board said on Tuesday.

Tongue was initially drafted into the squad after injury concerns over James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, who have now been rested before the Ashes series against Australia begins next month.

The 25 year old was picked ahead of the experienced Chris Woakes, who was recalled to the Test squad for the first time since March 2022 and expected to lead the bowling attack alongside Stuart Broad.

Tongue has picked up 162 wickets in 47 matches in first class cricket, including 11 in this season’s county championship.

“It’s an amazing feeling. (I’m) speechless really, even from when I got the first call-up to be in the squad. Now being in the actual team, it’s just a dream come true,” Tongue said.

“I’ve never played at Lord’s before for Worcester, so it’s my first time being here and experiencing the ground. I’ve come to watch Test matches with my family here, but this is my first time playing here.”

“He’s a big strong lad,” England Coach Brendon McCullum said. “He looks like he bowls quite fast and has some real skills.

“He is obviously a bit of a rough diamond. He’s had some injuries throughout his career and it is nice for a guy like him to be able to have an extended period of time where he has been injury-free this summer to push his case.”

Fit-again Jonny Bairstow will make his first Test appearance since August, having returned from a freak golf injury that kept him out of the T20 World Cup in Australia last year.

The four-day Test against Ireland begins on Thursday, with the Ashes series under way at Edgbaston from June 16.

England team to face Ireland: Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (captain), Jonny Bairstow (wicket-keeper), Stuart Broad, Matthew Potts, Josh Tongue, Jack Leach.

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