England have announced their side for the second Ashes Test against Australia, with Josh Tongue earning a call-up in place of the injured Moeen Ali as Mark Wood misses out again.
An eyebrow-raising decision sees England without a frontline spinner with Ali’s finger causing him problems in the first Test, and Rehan Ahmed has been overlooked.
Mark Wood was expected to feature in the second Test with England looking for more pace in their attack, but the Durham bowler has also been passed over, believed to be because of an elbow injury.
Chris Woakes misses out despite an excellent record at Lord's that sees him average 61.20 with the bat and 11.33 with the ball in five Tests. The Warwickshire man scored an unbeaten 137 in 2018 against India as the hosts declared en route to an innings victory.
James Anderson said that if more pitches were produced like the one used at Edgbaston he’d be ‘done’ with this Ashes series, describing it as his ‘kryptonite’, and Tongue, the only other bowler England can call upon who can reach 90mph, has been called upon.
Similarly, Mitchell Starc is expected to return for Australia, also looking for more pace in attack. Scott Boland entered the Ashes with just eight Tests under his belt, but with an average of 14.58 and five wickets against India in the World Test Championship final, the 34-year-old secured his place in the side.
But just two wickets for 147 runs will likely see Starc take his place at Lord’s.
Nathan Lyon starred with the ball in the first Test, taking four wickets in the first and second innings, and with a pre-Ashes injury ruling Jack Leach out of the series and Ali suffering a finger injury, the goal appears to be to limit Lyon’s influence in the second Test on a green wicket.
Having bowled 33 overs in the first innings, Ali was limited to 14 overs in the second, with Joe Root bowling 15, taking one wicket for 43 runs, and the former skipper will be called upon with the ball again at Lord’s.
Jonny Bairstow’s wicket-keeping was called into question during the first Test, with suggestions that Ben Foakes would have prevented the 70-odd runs that Bairstow allowed with drops of Cam Green and Alex Carey in the first innings, making up for the 98 runs that Bairstow scored with the bat.
But the Yorkshireman keeps the gloves as expected, with Foakes unable to find a place in the squad. One mooted alternative was to have Bairstow opening in place of Ben Duckett with Foakes batting at 7, but calls have been resisted and it’s unlikely Foakes will make his Ashes debut in this series.
England team to face Australia:
1) Zak Crawley
2) Ben Duckett
3) Ollie Pope
4) Joe Root
5) Harry Brook
6) Ben Stokes
7) Jonny Bairstow
8) Stuart Broad
9) Ollie Robinson
10) Josh Tongue
11) James Anderson