Veteran England pacer James Anderson and Stuart Broad on Wednesday were recalled for England's first two Tests against New Zealand while Yorkshire batter Harry Brook and Durham seamer Matthew Potts are the new faces in the 13-member squad, said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Anderson and Broad make a return to the Test squad after featuring in the 2021/22 Ashes in Australia before being surprisingly left out of three-match away tour to West Indies in March.
On the other hand, Brook was rewarded for being the standout batter in Division one of the County Championship. The 23-year-old, who made his T20I debut in January in the Caribbean, has scored 758 runs at an average of 151.60, including three centuries and four half-centuries for Yorkshire in the County Championship. Potts, another 23-year-old, has been in impressive form and is the current leading bowler of the County Championship, with 35 wickets and four five-wicket hauls, including his most recent return of seven for 40 in Durham's win over Glamorgan. "We have rewarded players in Harry Brook and Matty Potts who have had outstanding starts to the County season, and they deserve the opportunity to stake a claim at this level," said Rob Key, Managing Director for England Men's Cricket on the new faces in Test team.
The three-match Test series marks England's quest of climbing the rankings of second World Test Championship (WTC) cycle. Currently, they are at the bottom of the points table. The squad will come together for the first time next week in a camp before reporting to London on May 29 ahead of the first Test at Lord's on June 2. It will be followed by the second Test at Trent Bridge from June 10-14 before the series concludes at Headingley from June 23-27. "This is the start of a new era for our Test team under the stewardship of Ben (Stokes) and (head coach) Brendon (McCullum). With a blend of youth and experience, we have selected an exciting squad that can compete with New Zealand in next month's Test series. It promises to be a mouthwatering series, and I can't wait for the team to start against a very good New Zealand side. It is a fascinating prospect for everyone connected with the sport in this country," added Key. Omissions from the Test squad include pacers Ollie Robinson, Saqib Mahmood, Mark Wood and Matthew Fisher due to injuries, as well as batter Dan Lawrence.
Squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope and Joe Root.