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London: Jul 2, 2014
All-rounder Ben Stokes has returned to the England national team for the opening Test against India as the only addition to the 12-member squad that recently lost 0-1 in a two-Test series at home to Sri Lanka. The England selectors today announced a 13-member squad to be led by Alastair Cook for the first Test, commencing at Trent Bridge on July 9.
The 23-year-old Stokes, who made his debut against Australia in Adelaide last year, had sustained a self-inflicted wrist injury while punching a dressing-room locker following his dismissal for a golden duck in Barbados during his subsequent tour to the West Indies. It forced him to miss the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh and the start of the English season against Sri Lanka.
The four-Test old Durham all-rounder, however, regained full fitness and also did well with the ball in the domestic circuit, claiming a career-best seven for 67 for Durham against Sussex and a 10-wicket haul in the match. Although, he could not make much impression with the bat, having scored 172 runs at 28.66 in four Championship matches.
Stokes showed his potential during England’s 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia when he scored his maiden century in his second Test at Perth and took eight wickets in Sydney. ”The selectors would like to congratulate all the players selected in the squad for the first Test against India and in particular Ben Stokes who returns to the squad having worked hard to regain his fitness following an injury this winter,” national selector James Whitaker, said.
“This series against India will no doubt be a tough one and the selectors would like to wish Peter Moores, Alastair Cook, the coaches and players all the best for a good performance next week at Trent Bridge,” he added. Meanwhile, Cook, despite concerns over his own form and tactics as captain, has managed to retain his position.
England squad for first Test against India:
Alastair Cook (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior (wk), Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.
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