Josh Tongue has been added to the men’s England test team against Ireland

Josh Tongue was chosen for the England Test team

The England men’s Test team for their match against Ireland now includes Josh Tongue.

James Anderson and Ollie Robinson’s injury concerns reduced England’s fast bowling options to only four for the first Test of the summer, which begins on June 1 at Lord’s. The inexperienced Worcestershire seamer was brought in to fill the gap.

The 25-year-old Josh Tongue, who traveled to Sri Lanka in February with the England Lions, has been on England’s radar as a player to monitor. In the second unofficial Test, which was also his Lions debut, he made an impression by taking 5 for 34 and 3 for 77 against Sri Lanka A.

The right-armor has started the 2023 season with 11 wickets in Division Two of the Championship, despite his recent lack of red ball experience. He trapped the Australian spinner lbw for 30 in one of those against Sussex, becoming the first English bowler to dismiss Steve Smith this summer. The call-up is a stunning turnabout for Tongue, who last year questioned retirement after missing 15 months due to a shoulder ailment.

Tongue, who has been a part of the New Road route since he was six years old, has demonstrated good speed and bounce from a tall action and will join the Test team for their camp this weekend as a point of distinction. 

To maintain their fitness for the next Ashes series, Robinson, Anderson, and Mark Wood are expected to skip the Ireland Test, therefore Tongue may have a remote chance to earn his first cap the following week. The other seamers on the team are Matthew Potts, Chris Woakes, and Stuart Broad.

Speaking to Worcestershire CCC’s website on his call-up, Josh Tongue said: “The invaluable experience I gained during the winter as part of the Lions team has given me the hunger to represent my country in more international cricket matches and obviously the next step is Test cricket.”

“While my focus has primarily been on playing for Worcestershire, who I love playing for, the news of my selection for the Test squad is fantastic news.”

Luke Wright, England men’s national selector, said: “We have been monitoring Josh for quite some time and he deserves this call-up to the Test squad. It will be a great experience for him to understand and get used to the environment under Ben [Stokes] and Brendon [McCullum].

“It is important to have players ready to respond and with a big summer of Test cricket coming up, we will need that depth to our squad. We wish Josh and the rest of the squad well for the first international of the campaign.”

Conor Olphert, who has been dealing with a persistent knee problem, will be replaced by uncapped seamer Matthew Foster in Ireland’s team for the one-off Test, it was also revealed. The team will fly out to England on Wednesday night in preparation for a three-day exhibition game versus Essex in Chelmsford that starts on Friday (May 26).