England drop James Anderson, pick IPL pacer as only quick for Hyderabad Test
After much anticipation, England have announced their playing XI for the first Test in Hyderabad, starting from tomorrow (January 25). In a positive news for The Three Lions, skipper Ben Stokes, who was doubtful to start after a knee surgery last year has been named in the team for the series opener.
However, head coach Brendon McCullum and the team management has taken an intriguing decision of leaving out their most experienced bowler in the side. Veteran pacer James Anderson has been snubbed as the vistors named a spin-heavy side.
England quick Mark Wood, who plies his trade with Lucknow Super Giants in IPL will be the lone pacer in the bowling attack comprising Jack Leach, Tom Hartley and Rehan Ahmed. England will be without the services of uncapped Shoaib Bashir, who was not allowed to enter India due to visa issues. He has now flown home to sort out the issue in the hopes that he can rejoin the squad ahead of the second Test match in Vizag.
Who will keep wickets for England?
England's suqad announcement press release did not specify the designated wicketkeeper but it is anticipated that Ben Foakes will reassume the role following his exclusion from the Ashes 2023 squad. Despite Jonny Bairstow being the other wicketkeeping option in the playing XI, he will primarily focus on his outfield responsibilities. The England captain, Ben Stokes, has spoken highly of Foakes, acknowledging him as one of the premier keeper-batters globally.
England have also handed a debut to Tom Hartley in the first Test of the 5-match series.
England Playing XI for 1st Test: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C), Ben Foakes, Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, Jack Leach.