Ashes 2019: England call up Jofra Archer for first Test v Australia

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Ashes 2019: England v Australia, first Specsavers Ashes Test
Dates: 1-5 Aug Time: 11:00 BST Venue: Edgbaston
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 LW, online, tablets, mobiles and BBC Sport app. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Pace bowler Jofra Archer has been named in England’s Test squad for the first time for the Ashes opener against Australia at Edgbaston.

The 24-year-old, who took 20 wickets in England’s World Cup-winning campaign, claimed 2-21 for Sussex on his return from a side strain on Friday.

Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler, rested for the 143-run win over Ireland this week, are also included in the 14-man squad.

The first Test of the five-match series starts on Thursday.

Archer has taken 131 wickets in 28 first-class matches at an average of 23.44 since making his debut in 2016.

James Anderson, England’s leading Test wicket-taker, missed the Ireland match with a calf strain but he is expected to play against Australia.

Slow left-armer Jack Leach, man of the match after making 92 as a nightwatchman at Lord’s, has been left out.

Jason Roy, who made 72 in the second innings against Ireland, has been included alongside fellow opener Rory Burns and number three Joe Denly.

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England squad for first Ashes Test: Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.

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Archer’s rapid rise continues

Archer has said his red-ball record is “better than my white-ball record”.

Born in Barbados, he qualified to play for England in March and made his debut in the one-off ODI against Ireland in May.

He has impressed with his pace, regularly touching 90mph, and was England’s leading wicket-taker as they won the men’s World Cup for the first time. His 20 wickets cost 23.05 apiece.

Archer also bowled the crucial super over in the remarkable final against New Zealand at Lord’s.

He told BBC Sussex on Friday that he was in “excruciating” pain from his side injury during the World Cup.

A comparison of Jofra Archer's first-class and list A records

Stokes restored as vice-captain

All-rounder Stokes, player of the match in the World Cup final, has been reappointed vice-captain.

He was stripped of the role for his part in an incident outside a Bristol nightclub in September 2017. He missed five months of international cricket before being cleared of affray in August 2018.

England have kept faith with the same batsmen despite being dismissed for 85 on the opening day against Ireland at Lord’s.

Burns managed 12 runs and Denly 33 across two innings against Ireland, while wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow made a pair on a pitch that captain Joe Root described as “substandard”.

Chris Woakes took 6-17 and Stuart Broad 4-19 as England dismissed Ireland for 38 on the third day at Lord’s.

Head coach Trevor Bayliss said Anderson “should be fine” for the first Test, adding: “He’s been doing his sprints with no problems at all and I’d be very surprised if he’s not ready.”

National selector Ed Smith said: “It feels sensible to select an expanded squad and leave a number of bowling options open for the final team selection.”

Australia named their 17-man squad for the series on Friday, with Cameron Bancroft recalled for the first time since his ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal.

‘Exemplary Stokes deserves promotion’ – analysis

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew

Perhaps the most eye-catching detail of this announcement is the restoring of Stokes as vice-captain.

It hurt him to lose the job after the Bristol incident, but his attitude, commitment and performances since then have been exemplary. It is thoroughly deserved.

We expected Archer to be in the squad but, after admitting he was in “excruciating” pain during the World Cup, it would surely be unwise for England to risk him at Edgbaston.

Side strains can be tricky injuries and, given the depth in England’s bowling, there is no need to take a chance.

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