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England name unchanged squad for first test against Pakistan

CRICKET By Reuters | July 29th 2020
Cricket - First One Day International - England Nets - Ageas Bowl, Southampton, Britain - July 29, 2020. England's Eoin Morgan. [Photo: REUTERS]

England named an unchanged squad for first match of the three-test series against Pakistan that begins on Aug. 5 in Manchester, the country's cricket Board (ECB) said on Wednesday.

England beat West Indies 2-1 in the first international test series since the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the sport in March, winning the third test by 269 runs on Tuesday.

After losing the first test in Southampton, England roared back into the series with all-rounder Ben Stokes shining in the second to level it at 1-1 before fast bowler Stuart Broad guided the home side to victory with 10 wickets in the third match.

James Bracey, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach and Dan Lawrence have been named in the reserves.

The test series against Pakistan will also be held behind closed doors in a bio-secure bubble, even though a limited number of fans will be allowed to attend county cricket matches with social distancing guidelines in place.

"Our 14-man squad is unchanged," national selector Ed Smith said in a statement. "County cricket now restarts on Saturday, Aug. 1. We want to have sufficient reserves inside the bio-secure test match bubble.

"But we may also want to give opportunities, where possible, for the reserves to play county cricket. As we seek the best balance here, England may make changes to the reserves during the three-match series against Pakistan."

The second (Aug. 13-17) and third test (Aug. 21-25) will be held in Southampton.

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England test squad: Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Sam Curran, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood. 

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