England pick uncapped Bracey, Robinson in test squad

LONDON (AP) — Gloucestershire wicketkeeper-batsman James Bracey and Sussex seam bowler Ollie Robinson were named in England’s main test cricket squad for the first time on Tuesday for next month’s two-match home series against New Zealand.

Bracey has scored 478 county championship runs this season at an average of 53, while Robinson has taken 29 wickets at an average of 14.

Bracey and Robinson were touring reserves for England’s winter test programs in Sri Lanka and India, and were part of the extended squads for last year’s behind-closed-doors series against West Indies and Pakistan.

“They have been consistent performers in the county championship this season, and over the past 18 months have excelled for the Lions on the field and in the various camps they have been involved in,” coach Chris Silverwood said.

“Having spent all winter and last summer in the company of our established test players, they have immersed themselves in preparing and understanding what it takes to play at this level. The environment and culture will be something they are used to.”

Somerset all-rounder Craig Overton, who last featured for England in a test in September 2019, was recalled but multi-format players Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes were rested after completing a quarantine period following the cancellation of the Indian Premier League earlier this month.

All-rounder Ben Stokes (fractured finger) and seam bowler Jofra Archer (elbow injury) were not considered for selection.

The first test against New Zealand is at Lord’s, starting on June 2.

Squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood.

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