Stokes and Robinson return as England name squad for opening two India Tests

Ben Stokes and Ollie Robinson have returned to England’s Test for the first and second red-ball matches against India.

Wicketkeepers Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow and all-rounder Sam Curran are also back in England’s red-ball squad after missing the New Zealand series in June.

Pace bowlers Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes are unavailable for the opening two India Tests due to injury.

England’s five-match series against India starts at Trent Bridge on August 4.

All-rounder Stokes missed the two-match New Zealand series – which England lost 1-0 – after fracturing a finger during the Indian Premier League in April.

The 30-year-old captained England to a 3-0 win in the ODI series against Pakistan earlier this month and has since rested to help ensure his fitness ahead of the India Tests.

Robinson impressed on Test debut against New Zealand – taking figures of 7-101 and scoring 42 runs – but his performance was overshadowed by offensive tweets that resurfaced during the Lord’s match.

As a result of the posts, the ECB suspended the Sussex bowler for eight matches, but five of the games are suspended for two years and three have already been served.

Silverwood said: ‘A home Test series against India is one of the most anticipated red-ball series and this promises to be an outstanding five Tests.

‘India are a quality team who have shown their ability to get results away from home. We are expecting a highly competitive series and have selected our strongest possible squad.

‘The returns of all-rounders Ben Stokes and Sam Curran provide balance that allows us to get back to a structure that has been successful in Test cricket.

‘Ben’s leadership in the Royal London Series, when he played despite his finger not yet being 100 per cent, typified his character and commitment that drives the players around him forward.

‘With Jos and Jonny back in the squad we have added further experience and quality that will be needed against the world’s second-ranked team.

England’s squad for opening two India Tests

Joe Root (Yorkshire) Captain, James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Sam Curran (Surrey), Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Wood (Durham)

‘We have selected Ollie Robinson after his seven-wicket Test debut against New Zealand. Ollie proved in that Test that he has the ability to replicate his outstanding form in the County Championship at international level and we will continue to work with him to develop his England career.’

The England Test squad will report to Loughborough on July 28 ahead of the first Test against India the next week.

The players selected in this squad will be available to play in The Hundred for each team’s first two matches before joining the Test party.

More to follow…

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