Alastair Cook named in Test squad for South Africa


Opening batsman, Alastair Cook has been named in the England squad for first Investec Test against South Africa.

Cook has been in fine form and is Essex’s leading run scorer in Division One with 667 runs, averaging 66.70. This inlcuds an innings of 193 struck this week against Middlesex at Chelmsford.

England National Cricket Selectors have named a 12-man squad for the first Investec Test match against South Africa starting at Lord’s on Thursday July 6, which also includes former Essex loanee, Liam Dawson.

Joe Root (Yorkshire) (Captain)
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire) (WK)
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Liam Dawson (Hampshire)
Keaton Jennings (Durham)
Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
Mark Wood (Durham)

WATCH | Highlights from Alastair Cook’s record breaking innings with Nick Browne on Day Three against Middlesex this week.

Yorkshire’s Joe Root, who was appointed England’s Test captain in February, will lead the team out for the first time on Thursday.

Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones, who made his one-day international debut last month at Lord’s against Ireland, is the only uncapped player in the squad and is in contention to make his England Test debut on his home county ground.

The 29-year-old has taken 22 wickets in the Specsavers County Championship during this campaign.

Durham’s Mark Wood returns to the Test squad for the first time since October 2015.

James Whitaker, the National Selector, said: “There is great excitement around the first Test of the summer and with the start of a new era under the captaincy of Joe Root this is an exciting time for English cricket.

“Toby Roland-Jones is a player we have been monitoring for quite some time and deserves his chance after a strong couple of seasons with Middlesex in red ball cricket. He came close last year when he was named in the Test squad against Pakistan in July. Toby has been in good form this campaign and his ability to seam the ball along with the fact that he can score useful runs down the order gives us a number of options.

“Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance could play his first Test since October. He 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.

“On behalf of the selectors, I would like to wish Joe Root, Trevor Bayliss and all the squad the very best for what will be a competitive series against South Africa.”