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Archer, Stokes return to England squad for first 2 Tests vs India

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London, Jan 21 (IANS) England on Thursday announced its squad for the first and second Tests of their upcoming five-match series in India. Fast bowler Jofra Archer and all-rounder Ben Stokes, who were rested for England’s tour of Sri Lanka, have both been included in the squad.

Opener Rory Burns, who had missed the Sri Lanka series for the birth of his first child, also returns to the squad. Batsman Ollie Pope is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in September during a Test series against Pakistan, will travel to India and will be added to the squad when passed fit.

Wicketkeeper batsman Jonny Bairstow, all-rounder Sam Curran and fast bowler Mark Wood have been rested for the first two Tests.

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“This is consistent with the selection policy of finding a block of rest for all multi-format players at some point during post-Christmas winter schedule,” said the England and Wales Cricket Board.

James Bracey, Mason Crane, Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Robinson and Amar Virdi have been announced as reserves.

The first Test will be played from February 5 to 9 while the second is scheduled to be held from February 13 to 17. Both matches will be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.

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England squad for first two Tests: Joe Root (captain), Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.

–IANS

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