No room for Moeen as Rashid return is confirmed

In the face of rabid criticism England have stuck to their guns over Adil Rashid, picking him as the lone spinner for the first Test against India.

The pitch did not appear dry enough to induce England to play two tweakers in a home Test and seam-bowling allrounder Sam Curran got the nod ahead of Moeen.

Rashid’s recall to the Test squad, that came despite him opting out of first-class cricket this season, has ruffled some feathers within the English cricket community.

The leg-spinner will be called upon to do a job for his country and barring a late injury will play his first Test on home soil against India at Edgbaston.

The 13-man squad had no reserve batsman so the top six contains no surprises. Keaton Jennings and Dawid Malan will be under pressure to perform though with plenty of batsmen pressing for inclusion.

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Stokes will play in Birmingham but won’t feature in the second Test as he has a court date that clashes with the fixture.

Jos Buttler has been confirmed as England vice-captain further cementing his place in a side he returned to at the outset of the summer.

Opener Alastair Cook has fond memories of Edgbaston, he struck a double-ton there last year in the first day/night Test on English soil against the West Indies.

Skipper Joe Root will be looking to make a statement batting at three. England would love for their fearless leader to outscore Kohli in this series but that could take some doing.

Wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow and veteran seamers Stuart Broad and James Anderson round out the XI that will clash with India in Birmingham from Wednesday August 1.

England XI: Root, Cook, Jennings, Malan, Bairstow, Stokes, Buttler, S Curran, Rashid, Broad, Anderson.