Lord's Test: Jake Ball set to debut

Jake Ball, the Nottinghamshire seamer, is set to make his Test debut in the first Test at Lord's against Pakistan on Thursday, England's captain Alastair Cook has confirmed.

Jake Ball has taken 37 first-class wickets this season for Nottinghamshire.   -  Getty Images

Jake Ball, the Nottinghamshire seamer, is set to make his Test debut in the first Test at Lord's against Pakistan on Thursday, England's captain Alastair Cook has confirmed. Ball's inclusion in the team was catalysed by a shoulder injury to premier fast bowler James Anderson.

Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones was also in the fray for a spot in the playing XI, but the team management opted for Ball, who has had an impressive domestic season this year which follows his good work from last year.

"He's got wicket-taking balls in him, the ability to get good players out on flat wickets, and he puts the ball in good areas with good pace." Cook told the press at Lord's about Ball.

Cook also elaborated on why the team did not want to take a chance with Anderson's inclusion. "He's not (bowling) quite at full pace, and I think the risk of going into five-day Test match with that injury, an injury that not too many people have had, just had a bit of a doubt about it.

"I think the selectors decided that there are three other games, and he should be fit for Old Trafford. They were concerned that if he did have one of those stints at Lord's, on a flat wicket, he could be bowling 30-odd overs and we are not quite sure how his shoulder will stand up to that."

Pakistan will play four Tests in England in its first tour of that country since 2010. Much buzz has been generated by the inclusion of fast bowler Mohammad Amir in the Pakistan squad, the same bowler who was caught in 2010 for his role in spot-fixing, during the England tour.

"I've said all along I don't think match fixers should be allowed to play but at the time he was given his punishment, he's served it so he's entitled to come back. He's served his time," said Cook.