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England name 15-man squad for New Zealand Tests

London [UK], May 18 (ANI): England men’s head coach Chris Silverwood on Tuesday named a 15-player squad for the two-match Test series against New Zealand starting at Lord’s on June 2.

Multi-format players Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes have been rested after completing a quarantine period following the cancellation of the Indian Premier League earlier this month.

Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes (fractured finger) and Sussex seamer Jofra Archer (right elbow) were not considered for selection.

“The summer of Test cricket will be fascinating. 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,” said Silverwood in an official statement.

“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,” he added.

Gloucestershire wicketkeeper-batsman James Bracey and Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson have been called up to the Test squad for the first time.

Both are familiar with the England set-up, having toured as reserves during England’s winter Test programmes in Sri Lanka and India. They were part of the extended squads during last summer’s behind closed doors Test series against West Indies and Pakistan.

There is a recall for Somerset all-rounder Craig Overton, who last featured for England in a Test match in September 2019 against Australia at Emirates Old Trafford – he will be looking to add to his four Test caps.

“James Bracey and Ollie Robinson deserve their call ups to the Test squad. They have been consistent performers in the County Championship this season and over the past 18 months, have excelled for the Lions on the field and in the various camps they have been involved in,” said Silverwood.

“Having spent all winter and last summer in the company of our established Test players, they have immersed themselves in preparing and understanding what it takes to play at this level. The environment and culture will be something they are used to, and should they be in a position to make their Test debuts, they will be ready to showcase their skills,” he added.

England and New Zealand are slated to lock horns in a two-match Test series, which gets underway on June 2. England Test squad will report to its London base on May 28.

England squad: Joe Root (capt), 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 (ANI)