Wicketkeeper-batsman James Bracey and seamer Ollie Robinson have earned their maiden Test call-ups as England announced their squad for series against New Zealand.
The uncapped duo has been handed their maiden call-ups on the back of their recent performances in the County Championship. Bracey has scored 478 runs at an average of 53 so far in the tournament, while Robinson has claimed 29 wickets at an impressive average of 14.
Craig Overton, who last represented in a Test in September 2019, has returned to the squad. Top names like Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes have all been rested.
All-rounder Ben Stokes and pace ace Jofra Archer were not considered for selection owning to their respective injuries.
England head coach Chris Silverwood said that the upcoming Test series against New Zealand and India are good opportunities for his team to prepare for the Ashes series later this year.
🏴 James Bracey and Ollie Robinson get their maiden Test call-ups as England name a 15-man squad for their two-Test series against New Zealand, beginning 2 June.#ENGvNZ pic.twitter.com/2Ffx01TFmq— ICC (@ICC) May 18, 2021
"The summer of Test cricket will be fascinating, he said. "Playing the top two teams in the world, in New Zealand and India, is perfect preparation for us as we continue to improve and progress towards an Ashes series in Australia at the back end of the year.
"With several players not available through injury or being rested for the New Zealand series, it is an opportunity for us to reward those who have been on the fringes of England squads over the past 12 months."
Silverwood added that the two uncapped players, Bracey and Robinson, deserve the call-ups to the Test side. "They are both resilient characters and have demonstrated to me, the captain and coaches that they have the desire, temperament and the ability to continually improve to give themselves every chance of succeeding on the international stage."
England Test squad
Joe Root (c), James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood
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