Ollie Robinson returns as England name 17-man squad for first two India Tests

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Bairstow, Buttler, Curran, Stokes also return, but Woakes, Archer are not fit for selection

Ollie Robinson has been recalled to England’s Test squad in the wake of his suspension during the New Zealand series, as Chris Silverwood, the head coach, named a 17-player squad for the opening two Tests against India, starting at Trent Bridge on August 4.
Also included in the squad are Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Sam Curran, all of whom were rested for the New Zealand series in the wake of their involvement in this year’s postponed IPL, along with Ben Stokes, who captained England’s 50-over side against Pakistan earlier this month after a Covid outbreak caused the original squad to self-isolate, but who admitted last week that the finger that he broke back in April is still not fully healed.
Notable absentees include Jofra Archer, who made his playing return for Sussex in the Vitality Blast this week, but who is continuing to recuperate from elbow surgery, and Chris Woakes – England men’s reigning player of the year – who has sustained a bruised heel. Woakes’ absence for the first two Tests means that it will have been more than a year since his most recent Test appearance, against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl in August 2020. Olly Stone and Ben Foakes also remain sidelined through injury.
Elsewhere in England’s ranks, Haseeb Hameed is once again included as a batting option, and may vie with Dom Sibley, Rory Burns and Zak Crawley for a top-three berth, while Ollie Pope is also named despite sustaining a thigh injury while batting for Surrey in the Blast earlier this month. Dan Lawrence, whose unbeaten 81 at Edgbaston was one of the few high spots in a disappointing display from England’s batters, is also retained. There is no place in the squad for James Bracey, who endured a gruelling debut series against New Zealand last month, nor for Dawid Malan, who has been mooted as an option at No. 3 ahead of a winter Ashes tour.
On the bowling front, James Anderson and Stuart Broad are both included alongside Mark Wood, who is now expected to be ruled out of the entirety of London Spirit’s Hundred campaign. Dom Bess and Jack Leach are both selected as spin options, with Bess having bounced back from his tough tour of India with career-best first-class figures of 7 for 43 for Yorkshire against Northants earlier this month. Craig Overton, who was named in the squad for the New Zealand series, misses out on selection, as does Saqib Mahmood despite his impressive limited-overs performances.

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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