England name squad for first two Ashes Tests

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England have named a 16-member squad for the first two matches of the Ashes series that begins later this month.

England have retained the same group of 16 players from the one-off Test against Ireland for the first two Ashes Tests. Josh Tongue, who made his Test debut against Ireland and looked impressive, retains his place in the squad alongside James Anderson and Ollie Robinson, who were ruled out of the Lord's Test.

England have a strong group of pacers led by Anderson, who is expected to be fit for the first Test, and Broad. Mark Wood, Matthew Potts and Chris Woakes make the squad alongside Tongue. 

Ben Stokes' bowling fitness is unclear but head coach Brendon McCullum had earlier said that Stokes is making good progress and could bowl at some point during the summer. 

Bairstow, who returned to action after nine months with the Ireland Test, will keep wickets. 

Zak Crawley showed signs of returning to form at Lord's with a half-century in the first innings and retains his place at the top of the order with Ben Duckett, who made a brilliant 182 against Ireland, partnering him.

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Dan Lawrence also keeps his place as reserve batter. England's biggest decision would be choosing their pace attack for the first Test with quite a few options at their disposal.

The series begins on June 16 in Birmingham with the second Test at Lord's from June 28.

England squad: Ben Stokes (c), Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Joe Root, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Jack Leach, Ben Duckett, Zak Crawley, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson, Dan Lawrence, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Josh Tongue.

Ashes schedule

1st Test: England v Australia, 16-20 June, Edgbaston, Birmingham

2nd Test: England v Australia, 28 June-2 July, Lord’s, London

3rd Test: England v Australia, 6-10 July, Headingley, Leeds

4th Test: England v Australia, 19-23 July, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester

5th Test: England v Australia, 27-31 Kia Oval, London


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