London: England added premier pace bowler James Anderson, all-rounder Ben Stokes and leg-spinner Adil Rashid to an expanded 14-man squad announced for Friday’s second Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford. The trio took no part in England’s 75-run defeat by Pakistan in the first of a four-match series at Lord’s on Sunday. But Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, and Stokes have both been passed fit following their respective shoulder and knee injuries.
Meanwhile Rashid, yet to play a home Test, could feature as a back-up or even an alternative to Moeen Ali after the off-break bowler came in for some harsh treatment by Pakistan’s batsmen at Lord’s. Anderson and Stokes helped prove their fitness by taking part in the ongoing County Championship match between Lancashire and Durham at Southport, near Liverpool.
Hampshire batsman James Vince was retained despite a lowly average of under 19 after four Tests. Nottinghamshire paceman Jake Ball, who made his Test debut at Lord’s, has reported tightness in his left thigh and will be assessed by England’s medical staff. Toby Roland-Jones, included in the original 12-man squad for the first Test in the absence of Anderson and Stokes, was left out.
The Middlesex quick will now join up with the second-string England Lions for their one-day tri-series against Pakistan and Sri Lanka’s A teams. “Both Anderson and Stokes, currently playing against each other in the Specsavers County Championship at Southport, have come through the first innings of the match without any issues in respect of their recent injuries,” said an England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement.
“Anderson has recovered from a stress fracture of his right shoulder and bowled 22 overs in the match, taking three wickets for 58 runs. “Stokes, who has not played Test cricket since England’s victory over Sri Lanka at Headingley in May, has fully recovered from surgery to address a cartilage tear in his left knee.” More (AFP)
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