England announces 13-member squad for New Zealand Test series

Ben Stokes to step up as the new England Test captain after Joe Root’s resignation

England cricket team begins the home summer with a Test series against reigning World Test Champions New Zealand as Ben Stokes and Brendon Mccullum get set to take charge as the new skipper and the new head coach.

All-rounder Ben Stokes was carrying a left index finger fracture for the most part of 2021 before returning ahead of the crucial 2021-22 Ashes. The all-rounder returned to strengthen the English test team but a 4-0 loss down under followed by a 1-0 loss to West Indies in a 3-match Test series saw former skipper Joe Root and former head coach Chris Silverwood stepping down from their respective roles.

The 30-year old has already announced that he will be batting at No.6 in the new-look Test team with Root taking back his No.4 position in the batting line-up to provide solidity to the middle order.

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Rob Key, the Managing Director of England Men’s Cricket 

He said,

“This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben and Brendon. With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month’s Test series.”

Harry Brook and Matthew Potts have been handed their maiden call-ups to the national test setup along with a recall for the veteran fast bowling duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Brook made his T20I debut against West Indies earlier this year and has been averaging 151.60 in the current County Championship season courtesy of three centuries and four half-centuries amassing 758 runs in total.

With experienced fast bowlers like Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer, Saqib Mahmood, Sam Curran, and Mark Wood nursing injuries, Potts is also given a chance to prove himself after taking 35 wickets in 6 matches in the current County Championship season at an average of 18.57.

Key feels that the inclusion of Brook and Potts is highly deserved and he is excited ahead of a new reign in the England Test set-up.

He concluded,

“We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level. It promises to be a mouthwatering series, and I can’t wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side. It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country.”

England Squad: Ben Stokes (C), Zak Crawley, Alex Lees, Harry Brook, Joe Root, Ollie Pope, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Foakes (wk), Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Returning to the Lord’s after a long while, the English team will be hoping for a revival in the current cycle of the ICC World Test Championship as the giants sit bottom of the points table after failing to win any of their last eight test matches.