England Rest Bairstow, Curran and Wood

Archer and Stokes Return

Ben Stokes playing for England

Wicketkeeper-batsman Jonny Bairstow, all-rounder Sam Curran and fast bowler Mark Wood have been excluded from England's squad for the first half of next month's four-Test series against India.

Batsman Ollie Pope has been named in the squad, subject to rehabilitation from a shoulder injury. Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has been included, too, but will return home after the series opener.

“I certainly feel like the competition for places in the team is growing all the time, and that's really exciting,” said England captain Joe Root.

“In terms of our fast bowling, we've seen more and more depth, and that's continued over the summer and winter and is really nice to see.

“For that to now be happening in the batting, not just middle order but top order as well, I think that's a really good place for us. Competition for places is always something that stands out in improving teams.

“It's something that these big squads in bubble life and modern-day touring is a real benefit. It's great to have so many guys wanting to get better, making the most of learning from these experiences.

It will grow us as a team, will definitely make our squad depth better and improve us as a team.”

Archer and Stokes Return

All-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer are in the squad as well. Stokes and Archer are not involved in the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka.

“You speak to any side in the world, those two guys coming back into it would give the squad a huge boost and it's certainly the case for us,” added Root.

“They're two wonderfully talented players and with the climate and environment we're in, resting players is going to be vital.

“It's crucial we look after them and others as well, that we look after each other and make sure we've got guys who are fit and raring to go, physically and mentally, for everything that's going to be thrown at us in the next 12 months.”

England Squad for First Two Tests Against India

  • Joe Root (captain)
  • Jofra Archer
  • Moeen Ali
  • James Anderson
  • Dom Bess
  • Stuart Broad
  • Rory Burns
  • Jos Buttler
  • Zak Crawley
  • Ben Foakes
  • Dan Lawrence
  • Jack Leach
  • Dom Sibley
  • Ben Stokes
  • Olly Stone
  • Chris Woakes

Reserves

  • James Bracey
  • Mason Crane
  • Saqib Mahmood
  • Matthew Parkinson
  • Ollie Robinson
  • Amar Virdi

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Jonhenry
Jonhenry is a cricket nut. He has written about the game for several years and knows more about South African cricket - club cricket, in particular - than most. He has been published on most reputable cricket sites and, nowadays, devotes his knowledge of the global game to the iGaming industry. When he is not producing content about cricket, Jonhenry is playing, watching or coaching it. If not that, he's reading about the game or administrating his local cricket club.