Ben Stokes
Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes has been included in England team for 1st Test.ECB

England have included all-rounder Ben Stokes in the 13-member squad for the first Test match against India, starting 9 July at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

Stokes was left out of the English squad for the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka, as the 23-year-old was deemed not to have enough matches under his belt after returning from a wrist injury.

The Christchurch-native was the lone bright spot in England's disastrous Ashes series Down Under, after he scored his maiden ton in Perth and finished with a six-wicket haul in Sydney Test.

England pacer Stuart Broad has backed the inclusion of Durham all-rounder in the team and hoped that he will make an impact in the five-match series against the touring party.

"We know the quality Stokes has got -- he's a raw talent but he is a player you want to play with and not against," Broad said.

"He can get in players' faces and he has already got a Test match hundred and Test match 'six for' at Sydney. He is obviously a very talented guy. He was not in the Sri Lanka Test match squad in order to get more overs."

The English selectors have retained all members of the team, which lost the two-match Test series 1-0 against the Lankan Lions. Chris Woakes has also been retained, which means the hosts are heading with six seamers, including James Anderson, Broad, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett and Stokes against India.

"We have got five Test matches in a very short space of time and one of the other reasons to include six seamers is that we believe at some stage they are all going to play," said James Whitaker, the national selector. "So at the start of the series while they are talking about the Indians and strategy and tactics it makes sense to include that group."

The Alastair Cook-led side is without any specialist spinner as Moeen Ali, who picked up three wickets in the second Test against the Islanders, will again fill the role of fifth bowler in the team.

This is not a bad ploy for this series, seeing the wickets are expected to offer little or no help to the slow bowlers. Whitaker insisted that selectors are not rushing to fill the role of a specialist spinner in the squad as they are aiming to build a balanced squad.

"Everybody has become used to the success Graeme had brought to English cricket," Whitaker said. "He was remarkable. We knew we would have to rebalance the team and look at different options about how to go forward into the summer and beyond. We think we have a good balance now for the sort of wickets we play on in England."

England squad: Alastair Cook (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Gary Ballance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Chris Jordan, Liam Plunkett, Matt Prior (wk), Sam Robson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes.