The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced the 12-man squad for the second Ashes Test which will begin on August 14. The hosts are 0-1 down in the five-match series and will have to make a comeback in the second game to have a greater chance of winning the series. Jofra Archer and Jack Leach have been included in the team for this game while Moeen Ali has been axed.
James Anderson and Olly Stone were already ruled out of this game due to their respective injuries. Moeen returned with the disappointing figures of 3/172 in the series opener when his counterpart Nathan Lyon picked nine wickets in the same Test. Jofra Archer has also recovered from his side strain and proved his fitness by playing for the Sussex Second XI where he picked six wickets and then scored a century as well.
Jack Leach, on the other hand, was the Man of the Match for England in the one-off Test against Ireland last month and it was surprising that he was left out for the first Test.
Will Sam Curran make it to the XI?
Sam Curran is also part of the 12-man squad and it remains to be seen if England will require his services. With Moeen Ali not playing, Jack Leach looks set to play while Jofra Archer will replace Anderson in the playing XI. It will be interesting to see if the hosts will go for the sixth bowling option in Curran. In that case, the only casualty seems to be Joe Denly who hasn’t done much batting at three and four.
Curran was the Man of the Series against India last year and it is again surprising to see him not playing consistently in the whites. Also, if Denly is dropped, Chris Woakes will walk out to bat seven which seems to be a fair deal with Curran and Leach at 8 and 9.
England’s 12-man squad for Lord’s Test: Joe Root (C), Jason Roy, Rory Burns, Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Sam Curran, Chris Woakes, Jack Leach, Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad.