All aboard! England at full strength for Ashes tour, except for Ben Stokes

Cricket, England, featured, The Ashes 2021

England will bring their strongest available squad to Australia for the 2021-22 Ashes Test series.

Joe Root will captain the team with wicketkeeper Jos Buttler his deputy and all 17 players have been capped at Test level.

“I am delighted that all of our available players have committed to the tour,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood in a statement.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had only confirmed on Friday that the tour would proceed after doubts raised because of Australia’s tough COVID-19 protocols.

The England batting will be led by Root, alongside Rory Burns, Dawid Malan, Haseeb Hameed, Zak Crawley and young star Ollie Pope. Opener Dom Sibley was the most high-profile non-injury omission, having been omitted from the team during their series against India and replaced by Hameed.

Hameed, who made his Test return in 2021 after a five-year absence, had a boom-or-bust series in his stead, with two half-centuries and three single-figures scores in his five innings.

Long-time Ashes combatants James Anderson and Stuart Broad join Mark Wood, Craig Overton, Chris Woakes and Ollie Robinson as the pacemen with Jack Leach and Dom Bess the spin options.

All-rounder Ben Stokes misses out as he recovers from surgery on an index finger having taken an indefinite break from cricket in July to protect his mental health.

England will also be missing pacemen Jofra Archer, who is suffering complications following elbow surgery, and Olly Stone, while Moeen Ali recently retired from Test cricket.

Broad will be on his fourth Ashes tour and has been recovering from a torn right calf. The ECB said he was “making excellent progress” with the injury.

The players will be shadowed by a yet-to-be-selected England Lions squad who will provide cover for the two months during the tour.

Remarkably, only six players – Root, Anderson, Broad, Overton, Malan and Woakes – featured in England’s last trip down under, a 4-0 defeat in 2017-18.

Both squads will head to Australia on 4 November, while players on Twenty20 World Cup duty in the United Arab Emirates will join the tour after their tournament commitments.

The first Ashes Test is scheduled to begin on December 8 at the Gabba. You can check out the full summer fixture right here at The Roar.

England squad for Ashes tour of Australia

Joe Root (Yorkshire) captain, James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire) vice-captain, Zak Crawley (Kent), Haseeb Hameed (Nottinghamshire), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

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