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Bairstow dropped from England Test squad for New Zealand series

England news

Wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow has been dropped from England's Test squad for their two-match series against New Zealand in November and December.

In a new-look T20I squad, Tom Banton, Pat Brown, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson have all earned their maiden England call-ups, while the latter two have also won Test calls. Opening batsmen Zak Crawley and Dominic Sibley both appear in the Test squad for the first time.

Ollie Pope has been recalled to the Test squad, while James Anderson and Mark Wood after failing to recover from injuries.

Ollie Pope has long been touted as one of the most promising young batsmen in the country
Ollie Pope has long been touted as one of the most promising young batsmen in the country

Bairstow's axing comes after he averaged just 25.91 since the start of 2018, while in six Tests this summer he managed just one half-century. In his absence, Jos Buttler is likely to take the gloves, with Pope a backup option.

Pope himself has earned a recall after excelling in county cricket for Surrey. Still aged only 21 years old, he averages 57.55 in first-class cricket and has two double hundreds to his name. The right-hander played two Tests against India last summer, and though he only managed a top score of 28, he has long been touted as a future Test regular.

Dominic Sibley is the leading runscorer in the County Championship this year
Dominic Sibley is the leading runscorer in the County Championship this year

The other two new batsmen in the Test squad are both top-order options, an area which has troubled England in recent times. With 1324 runs to his name, Sibley is the only batsman in Division One of the County Championship to pass four figures this season, while Crawley is eighth on the run-scorer's list, and, aged just 21, is one as much for the future than present.

The same can be said for right-arm seamer Mahmood and leg-spinner Parkinson, each of whom play for Division Two champions Lancashire. Both have played fewer than 20 first-class games, but each have impressed in the opportunities they have won, while the latter has perhaps also benefited from Moeen Ali's decision to take a break from Test cricket.

Matt Parkinson has earned red- and white-ball call-ups
Matt Parkinson has earned red- and white-ball call-ups

Both also appear in a T20I squad which England are using to rest players and try out some new faces ahead of next November's Men's T20 World Cup. Lancashire stormed to the top of the North Group, with Parkinson finishing third on the wicket-takers charts across all teams. 20-year-old Banton finished second on the run-scorers charts behind Babar Azam, despite their side Somerset failing to make the knockouts.

Brown, a seamer with plenty of variations who excels at the death, has played a key part in Worcestershire Rapids' appearance in consecutive finals, holding his nerve on Finals Day both times. The other uncapped player selected is explosive Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory, who has previously been named in ODI and Test squads.

20-year-old Tom Banton finished second in the T20 Blast run charts
20-year-old Tom Banton finished second in the T20 Blast run charts

England's five-match T20I series against New Zealand kicks off on Friday, 1 November, while the Test rubber, which isn't part of the ICC World Test Championship, starts on 19 November.

Test squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes

T20I squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, James Vince

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