England include Alex Hales, Zafar Ansari in squad for UAE tour
The England selectors have called up batsman Alex Hales and all-rounder Zafar Ansari to the Test squad which will face Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates for a three-match series starting 13th October.
Opening batsman, Adam Lyth, who had a disappointing outing in the recently concluded Ashes series, has been left out and so is his Yorkshire teammate, Gary Ballance.
Making a Test comeback after three years is James Taylor, who was impressive in the One-Day International series against Australia.
Taylor scored 246 runs from five games at an average of 49.20, while he also led the team in the second innings of the final ODI in Manchester after Eoin Morgan suffered a blow to the helmet.
Alastair Cook will lead the side while Hales is expected to be his opening partner, whereas Joe Root, Ian Bell and Taylor will form the core of the middle order.
Wicket-keepers Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler have both been included, while Ben Stokes and Ansari will compete for the all-rounder’s spot.
The bowling attack will be led by veteran James Anderson, with Stuart Broad, Liam Plunkett, Steven Finn and Mark Wood to assist him, while Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will be the spinners.
The selectors have not made many changes to the ODI squad which took part in the five-match series against Australia.
Joe Root has been recalled with Ben Stokes given a rest, while Chris Woakes makes a comeback after the thigh injury he picked up in the third ODI in Manchester.
Reece Topley, who made his ODI debut in the fifth game at Old Trafford against Australia, is preferred in the place of Liam Plunkett, who misses out.
For the Twenty20 Internationals, England have recalled Stephen Parry and Chris Jordan while Stokes is rested for the shortest format too.
Morgan, who suffered from a concussion from the injury in the final ODI in Manchester, is expected to recover in time to lead both the limited overs sides.
England national selector, James Whitaker, stated that the selectors have chosen the squad keeping the spin-friendly conditions of the UAE in mind.
"The challenge we face against Pakistan will be very different and the composition of our squads reflects the conditions we expect to encounter in the UAE.
"Zafar Ansari's potential excites us and he will provide strong competition for Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali in the Test squad after enjoying an excellent domestic season with both bat and ball for Surrey.”
Whitaker felt that the performances of Hales in limited overs cricket has given ample reason for his selection in the Test side.
"Alex Hales has scored heavily for Nottinghamshire in first-class cricket this season, has shown he can play match-winning innings for England in white ball cricket and fully deserves an opportunity to compete for a place at the top of the order in our Test side."
Whitaker also stated that they wanted to give Stokes a rest after a heavy work load in the summer, keeping in mind a hectic winter season.
"In line with our recent decision to rest Joe Root for the one-day series against Australia, we have opted not to include Ben Stokes in our one-day or T20 international squads.
"Ben has been an outstanding performer for England this summer and this decision reflects a desire to manage his workload across a busy winter period in all three formats of the game.
“He will come back into contention for the white-ball format when we consider the make-up of our squads for the tour of South Africa later in the year."
England have also confirmed that Mahela Jayawardene will join the Test squad as the batting consultant for the UAE tour
Former England captain, Paul Collingwood will join the limited overs squads, both on this tour and in the 2016 T20 World Cup as a consultant.
England Test squad:
Alastair Cook (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Zafar Ansari, Jonny Bairstow, Ian Bell Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Taylor, Mark Wood
England ODI squad:
Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, James Taylor, Reece Topley, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
England T20I squad:
Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Alex Hales, Chris Jordan, Stephen Parry, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Reece Topley, James Vince, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
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