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24-Jan-2021 14:08:00 GMT
England in India 2020-21

Stokes and Archer back in England squad for India tour

London: All-rounder Ben Stokes and fast bowler Jofra Archer have returned to the England squad for the first two Tests of the tour of India.

Both Stokes and Archer were rested for the current series in Sri Lanka.

Batsman Rory Burns, who has been on paternity leave, also returns, but Ollie Pope is yet to fully recover from a shoulder injury.

Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood and Sam Curran will all be rested for the first half of the four-Test series.

The series begins on 5 February, with the first two Tests taking place in Chennai. The third match, a day-nighter, and fourth Test are in Ahmedabad.

England have only named a squad for the first two Tests, with further players due to be rested for the second half of the series as workloads are managed in a year that is set to include 17 Tests and a T20 World Cup, potentially all in bio-secure conditions.

National selector Ed Smith has confirmed that Jos Buttler will leave the tour after the first Test, meaning Ben Foakes will keep wicket in the second.

Vice-captain Stokes, 29, has not played a Test for England since the first match against Pakistan in August.

Like Archer, he played for Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League in October and November and was part of the squad for three T20s against South Africa. Both men were rested for the one-day series against the Proteas, which was subsequently postponed.

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

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