London, July 21 (IANS) England have included batsman Jonny Bairstow in their 13-man squad for the Ashes Test against Australia beginning on July 29.
Bairstow replaces batsman Gary Ballance. The five-Test series is currently locked at 1-1 after the first two matches. The third Test is scheduled to be held at the Edgbaston cricket ground.
Bairstow has so far played 14 Tests in his career, with his last appearance coming in 2014 against Australia in Sydney.
“The break ahead of the third Test will give the squad time to reflect on series so far and a chance to focus on playing the positive, confident cricket we saw in Cardiff,” England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) national selector James Whitaker said in a statement on Tuesday.
“For the third Test Ian Bell will move up the order to bat at three, followed by Joe Root with Jonny Bairstow coming in at five. Jonny has worked extremely hard at his game and his record for Yorkshire speaks for itself. He fully deserves this opportunity.”
“Gary was naturally disappointed to miss out on this occasion however we feel that he will benefit from some time in county cricket to rediscover his form. He has already had plenty of success at international level and as selectors we are confident Gary will play a significant role for England in the future,” he said.
The England squad: Alastair Cook (captain), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow,
Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Steven Finn, Adam Lyth, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Mark Wood.