LONDON: Wicket-keeper Jonny Bairstow has been dropped from England’s Test squad for their two-match series against New Zealand in November and December. In a new-look T20I squad, Tom Banton, Pat Brown, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson have all earned their maiden England call-ups, while the latter two have also won Test calls. Opening batsmen Zak Crawley and Dominic Sibley both appear in the Test squad for the first time. Ollie Pope has been recalled to the Test squad, while James Anderson and Mark Wood after failing to recover from injuries.
Bairstow’s axing comes after he averaged just 25.91 since the start of 2018, while in six Tests this summer he managed just one half-century. In his absence, Jos Buttler is likely to take the gloves, with Pope a backup option. Pope himself has earned a recall after excelling in county cricket for Surrey. Still aged only 21 years old, he averages 57.55 in first-class cricket and has two double hundreds to his name. The right-hander played two Tests against India last summer, and though he only managed a top score of 28, he has long been touted as a future Test regular. England’s five-match T20I series against New Zealand kicks off on Friday, 1 November, while the Test rubber, which isn’t part of the ICC World Test Championship, starts on 19 November.
Test squad: Joe Root (c), Jofra Archer, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jack Leach, Saqib Mahmood, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes.
T20I squad: Eoin Morgan (c), Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Pat Brown, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Lewis Gregory, Chris Jordan, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, James Vince.