England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced a squad of 15 players for the sole Test against Ireland. It will be the first time since 2019 that the Irish team will tour England and play at the iconic Lord’s cricket ground.
The last time when two sides met at Lord’s, Ireland shell-shocked the home crowd as they bowled the host on 85 within a session in the first innings. Despite showing the fight throughout the contest, Ireland eventually lost the game by 143 runs.
This time Ireland will be well prepared as many of their players come every year to England to play county cricket and most of them are familiar with the English conditions.
Ben Stokes, who recently left Chennai Super Kings (CSK), will lead the English side. The coach-captain duo of Brendon McCullum and Stokes will be hopeful of repeating the success of last summer and entertaining the spectators with their aggressive brand of cricket known as ‘Bazball’.
Jonny Bairstow is making his comeback after a leg injury. He played his last Test in August 22′ against South Africa. Bairstow broke his left leg and dislocated the left ankle while playing golf. The wicketkeeper-batter was ruled out just hours after being named in England’s squad for the T20 World Cup in Australia.
Ollie Pope has been named as Stokes’ deputy.
By taking everyone by surprise, James Anderson, who sustained a mild strain to his right groin during Lancashire’s County Championship Division One match against Somerset, has made a comeback into the side too. Though the chances are less that team management of risking him ahead of the much-awaited Ashes series.
In the bad news for the English side and fans, the hero of the Ashes 2019 and speedster Jofra Archer has again been ruled out for the entire summer.
England squad: Ben Stokes (c), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad ,Harry Brook, Zak Crawley ,Ben Duckett, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Matthew Potts, Ollie Robinson,, Joe Root, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.