Stokes, Archer back in England squad for first two Tests against India

England named a 16-member squad for the first two Tests against India - beginning in Chennai from February 5. Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer return to the side.

England all-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer were not part of the Test series in Sri Lanka.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

England named a 16-member squad for the first two Tests against India - which will begin in Chennai from February 5 - on Thursday. While the selectors have rested Jonny Bairstow, Jofra Archer, Rory Burns and Ben Stokes have returned to the squad. Archer and Stokes were rested for the Sri Lanka series and Burns was at home for the birth of his first child.

Ollie Pope will travel to India and will be added to the squad once he clears the fitness test. Pope is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in September during the Test series against Pakistan.

READ: Draw not an option for England in second test against Sri Lanka

“The National Selectors have provided a block of rest for Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood. The three players, who are currently in Sri Lanka, will miss the first and second Tests in India. This is consistent with the selection policy of finding a block of rest for all multi-format players at some point during post-Christmas winter schedule.”

With Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes returning, and subject to fitness of the rest of the squad, Craig Overton will return home after the Sri Lanka series.

The Test squad

Joe Root, 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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