Balance, Dawson named in England’s squad for Lord’s Test

London [UK], July 1 : Left-handed batsman Gary Ballance and left-arm spinner Liam Dawson have been included in the 12-man England squad for the first Test of the four-match series against South Africa beginning July 6 at Lord's. Ballance could bat at number three while Dawson, the Hampshire spinner, has a chance to retain his place after making his debut on England's tour of India in December. Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones, who made his ODI debut in June at Lord's against Ireland, is the only uncapped player in the squad and is in contention to make his England Test debut on his home ground having taken 22 wickets in the Specsavers County Championship during this campaign. Young Lancashire opener Haseeb Hameed, who impressed everyone during England's disastrous tour to India, has been overlooked following a struggle for runs in the County Championship this season. His absence means that Keaton Jennings will once open alongside Alastair Cook. Jake Ball (right knee) and Chris Woakes (side strain) were not available for selection due to injury. Joe Root, who was appointed England's Test captain in February, will lead the team out for the first time on Thursday. England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman of Selectors James Whitaker said, "There is great excitement around the first Test of the summer and with the start of a new era under the captaincy of Joe Root this is an exciting time for English cricket." "On behalf of the selectors, I would like to wish Joe Root, Trevor Bayliss and all the squad the very best for what will be a competitive series against South Africa," he added. England squad: Joe Root (capt), Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Gary Ballance, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Toby Roland-Jones, Stuart Broad, Mark Wood, Jimmy Anderson. The Lord's Tests will be followed by games at Trent Bridge (July 14-18), Kennington Oval (July 27-31) and Old Trafford (August 4-8). (ANI)
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