James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow and Mark Wood have made their return to the England’s Test squad for the upcoming four-match Test series. The opening game of the series will be played at Boxing Day (26th December) at SuperSport Park in Centurion. Off-spinner Moeen Ali has opted out of the series due to personal reasons.
Middle-order Jonny Bairstow was dropped from the Test squad for the tour of New Zealand. After his poor form in the Ashes series, Bairstow decided to back to English County Championship to score big runs. The 30-year old batsman might not been included in the playing XI for the opening game of the Test series.
Jos Buttler is the first-choice wicket-keeper for England in the upcoming four-match Test series. England might be looking to field an all-out pace attack for the Test series against South Africa. James Anderson has fully recovered from calf-injury and will be looking to lead the side for the four-match series. The veteran pacer was ruled out of the Ashes series after suffering from calf injury during Birmingham Test against England.
Mark Wood has made appearances for England in white-ball cricket. He was part of England’s one-day squad that went on to lift the maiden World Cup trophy at home. Opener Dom Sibley has retained his place in the Test squad despite lack of runs in the two-match series against New Zealand. Zak Crawley, who made his debut in the second game of the Test series has been named in the Test squad.
Sam Curran and Chris Woakes are bowling all-rounders, who delivered credible performances in the two-match series played in New Zealand. Pacer Saqib Mahmood has been dropped from the Test squad for South Africa series. Matthew Parkinson is the second spin option besides Jack Leach for this four-match series.
England will kick-start their campaign against South Africa and will play two warm-up games before the first Test at Centurion. The first warm-up game will be played against South Africa Invitational from 17th December. The second warm-up game will be played against South Africa A side from 20th December. Both the warm-up games will be played at Benoni.
England Test squad: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, , Jack Leach, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dominic Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood