Alastair Cook named in winter England Ashes squad


Alastair Cook was today named in a 16-man Test squad for the winter tour of Australia starting in November.

England Test squad

Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire)
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Mason Crane (Hampshire)
Ben Foakes (Surrey)
Dawid Malan (Middlesex)
Craig Overton (Somerset)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
Mark Stoneman (Surrey)
James Vince (Hampshire)
Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)

The 24-year-old Surrey wicketkeeper Ben Foakes has been included in the squad for the first time alongside Somerset fast bowler Craig Overton.

Hampshire top order batsman James Vince returns to the squad for the first time since August 2016 and will be looking to add to his seven caps. Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance is back in contention for a Test spot after suffering a fractured finger in the second Test against South Africa in July.

Hampshire leg-spinner Mason Crane, who has spent most of the summer with the England Test squad, is selected as one of two specialist spinners.

Commenting on the squad, National Selector James Whitaker, said:

“A tour of Australia is the ultimate test for our squad. We have provided Joe Root and Trevor Bayliss with a well-balanced squad with options in all areas.

“After a successful summer, having won the Test series against South Africa and West Indies, there is real competition for places and we have selected a squad that will work hard and compete against Australia, aiming to win the Ashes.

“Surrey’s Ben Foakes deserves his selection for the first time at this level. His glovework has been exemplary and he is regarded as a wicketkeeper of the highest quality. He has the ability to contribute with the bat scoring over 680 runs in the Championship this summer at an average of 45.33.

“Craig Overton, who like Foakes has come through the International Pathway, has been involved in the England set-up this summer with the Lions and the IT20 squad. He will now get his chance at Test level. We have been impressed with the way he has led Somerset’s attack over a long period of time. He has taken 43 Championship wickets this summer and will relish playing in Australian conditions.

“The selectors are backing James Vince to make an impact on his recall to the Test squad. He is a quality strokeplayer and we believe his game will suit the Australian pitches. His understanding of the England set-up will help him settle into the environment quickly and hit the ground running when we arrive in Perth next month.”

In addition to current full-time members of staff, former New Zealand fast bowler Shane Bond has been appointed fast bowling consultant and will be part of the England management team up to the end of second Test in Australia. Former England One-day captain Paul Collingwood will take a coaching role during the Test series and the ODIs against Australia. Kent’s Head Coach, Matt Walker, will assist England management for the IT20 Tri-Series in Australia and New Zealand.