Adil Rashid, Steven Finn in England squad for Ashes opener
Uncapped Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid and Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn were both called into a 13-man England squad announced Wednesday for next week`s first Ashes Test against Australia in Cardiff.
London: Uncapped Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid and Middlesex fast bowler Steven Finn were both called into a 13-man England squad announced Wednesday for next week`s first Ashes Test against Australia in Cardiff.
Rashid, 27, who has played both one-day international and Twenty20, but not Test, cricket for England took eight wickets and performed well with the bat during England`s recent 3-2 50-over series win at home to World Cup finalists New Zealand.
The 26-year-old Finn played the last of his 23 Tests in the 2013 Ashes opener at Trent Bridge but has worked his way back into the squad after suffering problems with his bowling action.
Rashid was not included in England`s 14-man pre-Ashes training camp in Spain, where most of the Test squad met with their new Australian coach Trevor Bayliss for the first time.
Pace bowlers Liam Plunkett and Mark Footitt, who did make the trip, were not selected in a squad captained by Alastair Cook for the First Test at Cardiff`s Sophia Gardens starting on July 8, where England will begin their bid to regain the Ashes following a 5-0 thrashing in Australia in 2013/14.
All the 11 England players who featured in both Tests during the 1-1 drawn series with New Zealand were included for the Ashes opener.Rashid said he was looking forward to working with Bayliss, a former Sri Lanka and New South Wales coach.
"I haven`t actually spoken to him yet, I got a little message from one of the selectors congratulating me, telling me I`m in the squad for the Ashes," Rashid told Sky Sports.
"(Bayliss is a different coach, positive coach, different mindset so I`m really looking forward to working alongside him and seeing what he`s got to offer."
Rashid`s selection appeared to put pressure on off-spinner Moeen Ali`s place in the side.
However, Bayliss said it was possible that England could field two specialist slow bowlers depending on the state of the Cardiff pitch.
"I obviously watched a lot of the one-day series on the TV and he played very, very well so it does give us an option in being able to spin the ball both ways," Bayliss said.
"We want to give ourselves the option to play two spinners if we get down there and the conditions suit two spinners then we`ve got the option."
But Bayliss said Finn had been included as cover for England`s seam-bowling trio of James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood.
"Certainly during the one-day series it looked like he was back on song and bowling well, he`ll be there as a back-up to the guys that have come off a good series against New Zealand," Bayliss explained.
Turning to the recent four-day get-together in Spain, Bayliss said: "It was fantastic from my point of view to get to know the players, the boys worked hard and the time went really quick, which is a good sign I think."
And he said it would not take him long to get up to speed with his new squad.
"I think anywhere you go, any team you do you`ve pretty much got the same 11 personalities in any team, just a different face and a different name, and it`s very similar with this as well."
Meanwhile Australia coach Darren Lehmann said England`s squad was no surprise to him.
"Pretty much as we thought it would be so we`ll have to play well," Lehmann said. "They`ve got some quality players but we`ve got a lot of blokes who have played county cricket, so we know them."England squad
Alastair Cook (Essex, capt), Adam Lyth (Yorkshire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Jos Buttler (Lancashire, wkt), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Mark Wood (Durham), James Anderson (Lancashire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire)