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England name debutant for first Pakistan Test

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England have named their team for the first Test against Pakistan starting in Rawalpindi on Thursday.

England men's coach Brendon McCullum and the England selection panel have unveiled more surprises in the team's red-ball re-build, handing Liam Livingstone his first call up to the England Test XI.

Listed at No.8 in England's list behind six fellow batters and wicket-keeper Ben Foakes, Livingstone's selection hints his leg-spin will be utilised alongside Jack Leach's left-arm orthodox, while the side deploy an even more aggressive batting strategy than the one that claimed a home Test series against India.

Despite a reputable First Class record, averaging a tick under 40 with the bat and 36.13 with the ball, Livingstone had previously been earmarked as a limited overs player for his country, playing 41 matches across both white-ball formats. Livingstone had signed on for the Big Bash League in Australia over the southern hemisphere summer, only to be called into the Test squad for Pakistan back in October.

In other team news, Ben Duckett has earned a re-call, six years after his last Test appearance, and will open the batting with Zak Crawley. The left-hander has just 110 runs across seven Test innings to his name thus far, across a pair of matches against Bangladesh and India away from home. Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook and captain Ben Stokes make up the middle order.

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On the bowling side, Stokes will have just two quicks at his disposal outside of his own right-arm medium-fast, in Ollie Robinson and Jimmy Anderson.

England are realistically out of the World Test Championship race for the 2021-2023 cycle, sat in seventh place with a points percentage of just 38.6.

The meeting in Rawalpindi is one of three World Test Championship matches between Pakistan and England, with the teams also travelling to Multan and Karachi. 

England XI v Pakistan: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes (c), Ben Foakes (w), Liam Livingstone, Jack Leach, Ollie Robinson, Jimmy Anderson.


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