England Name 17-Man Ashes Squad
England have named a 17-man squad which will head to Australia later this year to defend the Ashes.
The headline omission is that of Tim Bresnan, who missed the end of the season after undergoing back surgery, although he will travel with the party.
Uncapped batsman Gary Ballance, all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Boyd Rankin are all included and Hampshire's Michael Carberry is selected as the spare opener, meaning Nick Compton misses out once again.
England have also named a Performance Programme squad, which will be in Australia during the series, with Lancashire left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan included as Monty Panesar has been recalled to the squad.
Kerrigan played in the fifth and final Test at The Oval. His fellow debutant in that match, Chris Woakes, has not been selected in either squad as Chris Tremlett, who took the wicket that won England the series 3-1 in Australia in 2010/11, has been recalled.
His return means England go in to the series with three similar bowlers in Tremlett, Steven Finn and Rankin as well as James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
That combination means Durham's Graham Onions is another man to miss out. Having helped England to Ashes victory in 2009 he has subsequently been on the fringes of the squad following a back operation.
Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar as the frontline spinners is no change to the squad from 2010/11 and the selection of Jonathan Bairstow, Ballance and Carberry gives England options at number six. Carberry's inclusion does offer England an option of allowing Carberry to open and drop Joe Root down the order.
While Bairstow scored just 203 runs in the recent Ashes series, Ballance impressed with an innings of 104 for the Lions against the Australians in the middle of the series and Carberry hit 602 runs in 10 first-class matches this season. Stokes featured for the Lions, impressed during the One-Day International series, taking five wickets in the final game of the summer, as well as scoring 563 runs and taking 40 wickets in the LV= County Championship this season.
Of that Lions team, Alex Lees, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, James Harris and Kerrigan are also in the Performance Squad with Ballance and Stokes now in the full squad.
Matthew Prior has been named as vice-captain and while Bairstow will act as reserve wicket-keeper, Jos Buttler is named in the Performance squad as well as Ben Foakes.
Middlesex opening batsman Sam Robson, who is eligible to represent both Australia and England, has been named in the Performance Squad.
"We are fully aware that the Ashes series will once again be fiercely contested and that this squad will need to work extremely hard and play to a very high level to retain the Ashes and we believe we have selected a squad capable of doing just that," England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) National Selector Geoff Miller said.
"As we have seen in previous series we will need all members of the squad ready to step up and make vital contributions throughout the five Tests and we feel that all 17 players have the ability to do that. There is real competition for places with both bat and ball and we feel that we have provided Andy Flower and Alastair Cook with a well balanced squad.
"Tim Bresnan has not been named in the squad and is continuing his recovery from a stress fracture in his back. He will travel to Australia with the squad to maximise his rehab opportunities with the medical team and coaches who will monitor his progress.
"The England Performance Programme provides an excellent opportunity for those players identified as having considerable talent to train together in an England environment throughout the winter and further develop as cricketers and this is an exciting young squad who have impressed in domestic cricket recently.
"The time spent at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough and Australia allows our coaches to work intensively with the players and assess their readiness to graduate to the full England side when the opportunity arises. Gary Ballance, Boyd Rankin and Ben Stokes have all come through the EPP in recent years and have put in strong performances for their counties and England teams to earn an opportunity to step into the Test environment."
England Ashes Test squad: Alastair Cook (captain), Matthew Prior (vice-captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Michael Carberry, Steven Finn, Monty Panesar, Kevin Pietersen, Boyd Rankin, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Graeme Swann, Chris Tremlett, Jonathan Trott
England Performance Programme Squad: Moeen Ali, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Varun Chopra, Ben Foakes, James Harris, Chris Jordan, Simon Kerrigan, Alex Lees, Tymal Mills, Jamie Overton, Sam Robson, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey, Mark Wood
*Jamie Overton and Mark Wood will remain in England.
21st-25th November: 1st Test, Gabba, Brisbane
5th-9th December: 2nd Test, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
13th-17th December: 3rd Test, WACA, Perth
26th-30th December: 4th Test, MCG, Melbourne
3rd-7th January: 5th Test, SCG, Sydney
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