England Pick James Bracey, Ollie Robinson For NZ Tests > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - England pick James Bracey, Ollie Robinson for NZ Tests

Bracey has scored 478 runs so far in the county season.

Bracey has scored 478 runs so far in the county season.

England have picked Gloucesershire keeper-bat James Bracey and Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson in the squad for next month's two-Test series against New Zealand. The 15-member shortlist is conspicuous by the absence of multi-format players Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes, who've been rested having only just completed their quarantine following the postponement of IPL 2021.

Squad for New Zealand Tests: Joe Root (c), 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

Bracey and Robinson, who have been around the England set-up having toured as reserves on the winter tour of the sub-continent, have earned their selections through a productive start to County Championship. Bracey has scored 478 runs at an average of 53 while Robinson has taken 29 wickets at an average of 14. The 'keeping gloves for the opening Test at Lord's, however, is likely to remain with Ben Foakes, who is yet to play a home Test.

"James Bracey and Ollie Robinson deserve their call ups to the Test squad," said Head Coach Chris Silverwood. "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.

"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, and should they be in a position to make their Test debuts, they will be ready to showcase their skills."

Meanwhile, with Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer still on the sidelines with injuries, a spot in the squad has opened up for Somerset's Craig Overton, who played the last of his four Tests so far at the 2019 Ashes.

"With several players not available through injury or being rested for the New Zealand series, it is an opportunity for us to reward those who have been on the fringes of England squads over the past 12 months," Silverwood said.

"Ben Stokes is making excellent progress following his fractured left index finger sustained last month in the Indian Premier League. If he continues to improve without any impact on his rehabilitation, we could see him return next month for Durham in the Vitality Blast competition. We will assess him again towards the end of this month.

"Jofra Archer is to see a consultant this week to understand the severity of his right elbow injury. He struggled in Sussex's Championship fixture last week and he wasn't able to bowl on the final two days of the match. We need to get this resolved once and for all to give him the best chance of being fully fit as we build up to an intense winter, which will include a T20 WC and the Ashes. We need him firing in all formats of the game."