London(July 1, 2017): The England squad for the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s has been announced by the England and Wales Cricket Board, five days before the start of the series.
The 12-man squad will be led by Joe Root for the first time since taking over from Alastair Cook, and marks the recall of left-hander Gary Ballance after almost a year.
“He (Ballance) has been in fantastic touch with the bat in the Championship averaging over 100. He deserves to be included and we feel that he will add maturity and experience to our middle-order”, James Whitaker, chairman of selectors, recently said.
England play a four-Test series against South Africa at home, having played the ODI and T20I series before the Champions Trophy last month. Both the three-match 50-over and 20-over series was clinched by the hosts 2-1.
Ballance returns to the English Test squad after a gap of almost a year, having last played for the team during their tour of Bangladesh in 2016.
While James Anderson and Stuart Broad have taken their place back in the squad after successfully recovering from their respective injuries, Jake Ball and Chris Woakes have not been able to make it to the 12-man squad because of a knee injury and a side strain respectively.
Joe Root (captain), Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Stuart Broad, Alastair Cook, Liam Dawson, Keaton Jennings, Toby Roland-Jones, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood