Durham fast bowler Mark Wood has been recalled by England for the one-day series against Pakistan. His county team-mate Ben Stokes has also been included in the 15-man squad after a calf injury curtailed his Test series against Pakistan, following a knee problem earlier in the season against Sri Lanka which had required surgery. James Vince, however, has been dropped.
This is the first squad Wood has been included in since injury ended his tour of the UAE last year, after which he underwent ankle surgery which kept him out of action until last month. He takes the place of Steven Finn, who picked up a hamstring injury on the fourth day at The Oval and has been ruled out for four weeks.
Both captain Eoin Morgan (chipped bone in finger) and Jos Buttler (fractured thumb) are expected to be able to start the series following their recent injuries. However, while Stokes has been included, he is likely to start the series playing as a batsman only, before gradually being re-introduced as a bowler.
“Ben’s made really significant progress over the last three weeks and our medical team are pleased,” James Whitaker, the national selector said. “He’s progressing nicely towards bowling over the next week or so, and while we hope that initially he might just play as a batter he will lead into the series as an allrounder eventually.
“He’s worked really hard on his rehab and it’s given everyone a lot of confidence. To have him around again will be a huge bonus for Eoin Morgan and his team.
“Mark Wood has had a couple of operations, and with his hard work and advice from our medical team he’s now able to take part in this series. Just over the last month he’s progressed very well and we’re very happy for him. We got him back into the Lions initially, he’d just played a couple of games for Durham before, and he played really well for the Lions and he’s continued that form since.”
Vince’s omission means he can return to four-day cricket with Hampshire in a bid to regain form and push for a touring spot to Bangladesh and India. He finished the Test series against Pakistan with 1 and 0 at The Oval and in seven Tests this season did not manage to pass fifty, while the familiarity of his dismissals – edging behind to the keeper or slips – became a concern.
There is better news for another Hampshire player, however, with Liam Dawson handed an ODI call-up. Dawson, the left-arm spin-bowling allrounder, took 3 for 27 on his T20I debut earlier in the season against Sri Lanka and he provides a third spin option alongside Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.
“He came into the squad for that one-off game and really impressed,” Whitaker said. “He’d previously impressed the coaches on the Performance Programme in the winter, and over the last two years he’s been very consistent for Hampshire. So it’s good for him and I’m really pleased he might get a go.”
The selectors have resisted resting any players after the Test series meaning that Chris Woakes, who was Man of the Series, and Joe Root are both included. That also means there are no places for the batsmen who impressed recently for England Lions in the triangular series against Pakistan A and Sri Lanka A.
Ben Duckett, the Northamptonshire left-hander, had been tipped for a maiden call-up after making unbeaten scores of 220 and 163 in the tri-series while Sam Billings, the Kent wicketkeeper-batsman who has already featured for the full side, plunder 175 against Pakistan A
Dawid Malan, who captained the Lions, was another to impress with an unbeaten 185 against Sri Lanka A. He was part of England’s T20 squad against Sri Lanka earlier in the season and along with Duckett and Billings has a good chance of being involved for the T20 against Pakistan next month. The squad for that will be named towards the end of August.
“Players like Ben Duckett, Sam Billings and Dawid Malan have all been performing very well in the Lions – and James Vince, although he’s not in this squad, remains in our plans. So there’s three or four players there pushing for batting spots – I think that’s incredibly healthy for English cricket,” Whitaker said. “We’ve had a lot of confidence come out of our one-day team over the last 18 months, and this selection just emphasises how well they have done.