Stokes, Buttler back; Robinson recalled for first two India Tests

All-rounder Ben Stokes returns to England’s squad for the first two Tests against India next month after he missed the two-match series against New Zealand in June following a finger injury he sustained during the Indian Premier League earlier this year.

Stokes captained England to a 3-0 series win in the ODI series against Pakistan earlier this month and has since rested from cricket to optimise his preparation ahead of the India Tests.

Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran also come back into the Test squad. Ollie Robinson is included after he took seven wickets on his Test debut against New Zealand at Lord’s. He was suspended over racist and sexist comments he made on social media as a teenager.

Pacers Jofra Archer (right elbow) and Chris Woakes (bruised heel) are both unavailable due to injury.

Archer continues to progress following elbow surgery but is not ready at this point to return to Test cricket. Woakes suffered a bruised heel last week and is expected to be available later in the series.

“A home Test series against India is one of the most anticipated red-ball series and this promises to be an outstanding five Tests,” England head coach Chris Silverwood said.

“India are a quality team who have shown their ability to get results away from home. We are expecting a highly competitive series and have selected our strongest possible squad.

“The returns of all-rounders Ben Stokes and Sam Curran provide balance that allows us to get back to a structure that has been successful in Test cricket.

“Ben’s leadership in the Royal London Series, when he played despite his finger not yet being 100 per cent, typified his character and commitment that drives the players around him forward. With Jos and Jonny back in the squad we have added further experience and quality that will be needed against the world’s second-ranked team.

“We have selected Ollie Robinson after his seven-wicket Test debut against New Zealand. Ollie proved in that Test that he has the ability to replicate his outstanding form in the County Championship at international level and we will continue to work with him to develop his England career.”

The England players will report to Loughborough on July 28 ahead of the first Test against India starting at Trent Bridge on August 4.

The players selected in this squad will be available to play in The Hundred for each team’s first two matches before joining the Test squad.

England Men’s Test Squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood.

Schedule: India’s tour of England

1st Test: England v India, 4-8 August 2021, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

2nd Test: England v India, 12-16 August 2021, Lord’s, London

3rd Test: England v India, 25-29 August 2021, Emerald Headingley, Leeds

4th Test: England v India, 2-6 September 2021, Kia Oval, London

5th Test: England v India, 10-14 September, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

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