Jofra Archer in England squad for first Ashes Test; Ben Stokes named vice-captain
Rory Burns retains place in squad but Jack Leach misses out
Last Updated: 27/07/19 3:17pm
England have included Jofra Archer and retained Rory Burns in a 14-man squad for the first Ashes Test against Australia at Edgbaston, while Ben Stokes has been reappointed vice-captain.
Archer is in line for his Test debut from Thursday after overcoming the left side strain he sustained while helping England win the World Cup.
The seamer missed England's victory over Ireland but took two wickets for Sussex in the Vitality Blast on Friday night and could now be in a fight with Chris Woakes for a spot in the final XI alongside Stuart Broad and James Anderson, the latter expected to play after a right calf injury.
Woakes picked up six scalps at Lord's as England rolled Ireland for 38 in their second innings en route to a 143-run win inside three days.
Fellow seamers Olly Stone and Sam Curran, who both played against Ireland, remain with the group but Jack Leach misses out on selection.
The Somerset star's 92 as nightwatchman has not saved him with England picking Moeen Ali as the sole spinner, although Leach will train with the squad ahead of the Edgbaston Test.
Stokes and Jos Buttler return after a rest, with the former replacing the latter as Joe Root's vice-captain.
Stokes lost the role in 2017 following the incident outside a Bristol nightclub but has been reappointed following the recommendation from Ashley Giles and ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.
Burns, meanwhile, is poised to keep his opening berth despite twice being dismissed for six against Ireland and hitting just two fifties in seven Tests since he replaced the retired Sir Alastair Cook at the top of the order.
"Though it is unusual to select a squad of 14 for a home Test, there are compelling reasons to do so here," said national selector Ed Smith.
"Several bowlers are recovering from injuries or niggles. In addition, some bowlers who played in the World Cup are being closely monitored to assess their preparation for Test match cricket.
"The wider circumstances - a successful home World Cup campaign followed so quickly by a home Ashes series - are unprecedented.
"It feels sensible to select an expanded squad and leave a number of bowling options open."
Australia named a 17-man Ashes party on Friday, with Cameron Bancroft earning a recall and six seam bowlers selected - Peter Siddle, James Pattinson and Michael Neser named alongside likely starters Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
Australia have not won an Ashes series in England since 2001 - losing in 2005, 2009, 2013 and 2015 - but hold the urn after thrashing their rivals 4-0 at home during the 2017-18 series.
The second Test will be held at Lord's (August 14), before matches at Headingley (August 22), Old Trafford (September 4) and The Oval (September 12), with all games live on Sky Sports Cricket.
England squad for first Ashes Test: Joe Root (captain), Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow (wkt), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Sam Curran, Olly Stone
Watch England take on Australia, live on Sky Sports Cricket (channel 404) and Sky Sports Main Event (channel 401) from 10am on Thursday.