England Name Ashes Squad

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England named their 16 man Ashes Squad this week with the series set to begin in Brisbane on the 23rd of November.

The last tour England made of Australia ended in disaster as they were whitewashed 5-0 but they are heading back to defend their crown as holders since regaining them back in 2015 on home soil. As always, many people both fans and pundits, were eager to see who would be named in the squad and who would miss out as excitement builds for the tournament.

England squad selected for the Ashes tour of Australia:

Joe Root (captain, Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (wk, Yorkshire), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Gary Balance (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Ben Foakes (wk, Surrey), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Stoneman (Surrey), James Vince (Hampshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).

Vice-captain Ben Stokes has made it into the squad despite his recent arrest and finger fracture. He’s expected to be fit for the tour but it remains to be seen what course of action will be taken after his latest misdemeanor. It’s great news for Hampshire’s James Vince and Yorkshire’s Gary Balance who have earned themselves recalls; but Tom Westley of Essex misses out, as does Mark Wood who is still struggling with an ankle complaint. In Wood’s absence there is a call up for the uncapped Craig Overton of Somerset as seamer.

Ahead of the tour there has been a rejigging in the coaching set up as England look to defend their Ashes crown. Former New Zealand pace bowler Shane Bond will come in to work with the seamers as the fast bowling consultant, for the first two Tests of the tour. This is a move that has happened due to Ottis Gibson’s departure who has taken the role as head coach at South Africa. There’s also the familiar face of Paul Collingwood, who’s taken up a coaching role for the Tests.

The squad announcement has been met with criticism and disappointment from some people though. This has been reinforced with reputable sports betting operators like Unibet having Australia 1.87 favorites and England 2.90 to win the first Test Match in November. One cause for concern is the batting top order which has been an issue for England for a long time, it goes back months and months and still it doesn’t seem to have been addressed. The likes of James Vince, Gary Balance and Dawid Malan who so far have been very unconvincing in the top order. Their averages are distinctly low and some pundits have cast huge doubt on whether they can live up to expectations in Australia.

The other main talking point has been the selection of Ben Stokes, a player integral to England if they are to have a successful Ashes defence. He’s all round a superb player who can help inspire his team mates but it’s his off the field antics that are raising concerns. As vice-captain he has a responsibility to set an example to those around him and he’s once again set the wrong one.

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