BREAKING NEWS: England pick exciting youngsters Harry Brook and Matty Potts in the first Test squad of the McCullum-Stokes era – and Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad are BACK after being axed for the West Indies
- England have named their squad for the upcoming New Zealand Test series
- Brendon McCullum has taken charge with Ben Stokes as the captain
- Harry Brook has been outstanding for Yorkshire and is favourite for No 5 spot
- Fast bowler Matty Potts is another 23-year-old to make the cut for the first time
- Rob Key said: ‘This is the start of a new era and a blend of youth and experience’
England will give opportunities to the uncapped Harry Brook and Matthew Potts in the first Test of a new era under Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum.
Both were named this morning in a 13-man squad for the first two Tests against world champions New Zealand, starting at Lord’s on June 2, with England mixing old with the new by bringing back Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad.
There were no places for Ollie Robinson, who has barely played for Sussex this season after missing the whole of the series against West Indies with a back injury, nor Dan Lawrence, who is recovering from a hamstring problem.
Harry Brook (left) and Matty Potts (right) offer an injection of youth into the England squad
England are starting a new era under Ben Stokes with a mix of young and experienced players
But Jonny Bairstow who is playing at the IPL and was expected to be rested from this first assignment of the season, makes the cut in a smaller than envisaged squad.
It appears as though Bairstow has been earmarked for the No 3 position with former captain Joe Root now returning to his favourite No 4 slot.
It is the call-ups of the exciting Brook and Potts that will dominate attention as England attempt to climb up from rock bottom of the World Test Championship after a run of just one win in the last 17 Tests.
Stokes, Anderson, Bairstow, Broad, Brook, Crawley, Foakes, Leach, Lees, C Overton, Potts, Pope, Root
Test series dates:
Lord’s – June 2
Trent Bridge – June 10
Headingley – June 23
Brook, 23, has been outstanding for Yorkshire in the first Division of the County Championship this season in making 758 runs already at a staggering average of 151.60 with three hundreds. He is the favourite to bat at No 5 ahead of Ollie Pope, who is also in the squad.
Potts, also 23, owes his inclusion in part to the string of fast bowling injuries that has ruled out Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Fisher and now Robinson, but he has made an impressive start to the season for Durham and is the leading bowler in the Championship with 35 wickets.
He will also be the closest thing England have to an out and out paceman, bowling at around 85 miles per hour this year.
Rob Key, the new managing director, said: ‘This is the start of a new era and, with a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand.
‘We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts, who have made outstanding starts to the Championship season and deserve their opportunity at this level.’
Veteran bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson have returned to the fold for England
All eyes are on Brendon McCullum’s side ahead of the Test series against his homeland