The England Men's Cricket selection panel has named a 16-man squad for the first two Ashes Tests, beginning on June 16th at Edgbaston in Birmingham. Josh Tongue, currently playing his first Test at Lord's against Ireland, has found a place, while Jonny Bairstow has also been included in the line-up.
James Anderson and Ollie Robinson have returned to the fold, having missed the ongoing Test against Ireland at Lord's. The seam-bowling suffered injuries during their County Championship reign and kept themselves out of the clash against Ireland to be fit for the Ashes. The two were prominently amongst the wickets in county cricket.
England have purely dominated the ongoing contest against Ireland. The first day of the Test saw Stuart Broad take a fifer and bowl the tourists out for 172. England unleashed their batting prowess on the second day as Ben Duckett and Ollie Pope hit centuries, while Zak Crawley and Joe Root scored fifties. Root also surpassed 11000 runs in Test cricket, becoming the 11th cricketer to do so.
Following his 208-ball 205, Pope admitted that he learnt a lot from the previous Ashes tour. The Surrey batter he didn't work smartly before facing the Aussie bowlers and is in a better frame of mind now.
"That last tour was a big learning curve for me. If I'm being brutally honest I don't feel like I knew my game well enough and probably wasn't putting quite enough time in. I'd hit a lot of balls in the nets and think I was training in a good fashion, but I wasn't thinking about my technique and how to attack each style of bowler. That's not me saying I wasn't working hard enough, because I was. I was probably not working smart enough," he said, as quoted by the BBC.
England's Test squad for the first two Ashes Tests:
Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root, Josh Tongue, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.