England's 12-member squad for the upcoming first Test against Sri Lanka, which starts on May 19 in Headingley, has been announced. Uncapped James Vince and Jake Ball are the two new faces in the team.
Vince might have played for England in coloured clothing, and his chances of playing in the first Test has increased with some quality performances for Hamsphire this season, which helped him earn a call-up. His experience of having played for England (1 ODI and 4 T20s) might help him calm his nerves if he earns a Test cap in Headignley. Ball has also impressed with his seamers in domestic cricket.
"Both Jake Ball and James Vince thoroughly deserve their opportunity, having performed well with the England Lions and starting the season in good form with their respective counties," ESPN Cricinfo quoted national selector James Whitaker as saying.
"Building on his success with the Lions in the winter, Jake has impressed with the ball and shown excellent control and skill in the opening matches of the County Championship. If selected, we are confident he will perform very well at international level.
"James has been a consistent performer for Hampshire and England Lions over the past few years. He is already well regarded by the England coaches in the short format and now has the opportunity to showcase his skills at Test level."
England have a formidable side for the Test match, with Alastair Cook as captain, who will open the innings with Alex Hales. Cook will hold an integral role at the top of the order for England, but their middle order also looks superb, with the likes Joe Root and Nick Compton. The Three Lions possess a dangerous wicket-keeper batsman in the form of Jonny Bairstow.
Their bowling line-up looks even more lethal with quality bowlers like James Anderson and Stuart Broad as their key seamers. With pitches in England expected to assist swing, the duo will be keen to run through the Sri Lanka batting line-up. They have a solid support cast in Steve Finn, who can also help the home team trouble the visitors.
England squad for first Test: Alastair Cook (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Nick Compton, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, James Vince