England selectors have announced a 12-man squad for the first Test against Pakistan at Lord’s including uncapped Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones.
The 28-year-old England Lions player has enjoyed an excellent county season, claiming 30 wickets in nine matches at 29.07.
Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance has earned a recall following Nick Compton's decision to take a break from cricket. Ballance cracked a 132 in the first innings against Middlesex at Scarborough earlier this week.
Fast bowler James Anderson has not been passed fit after revealing he suffered a stress fracture to his shoulder blade during the third Test against Sri Lanka.
National Selector James Whitaker released a statement on the ECB website, saying: “Building on the success of the Test series win against Sri Lanka last month, we have maintained our objective of retaining a balanced squad,
“With an injury to James Anderson, there is an opportunity for Toby Roland-Jones who has been a consistent performer in the County Championship over the last few years and deserves his chance.
“Gary Ballance is recalled to the Test squad for the first time since the winter series in South Africa and could play his first Test for England in 12 months. He has been in recent form with the bat for Yorkshire in the Championship. Gary is mentally strong and we feel that he will add quality and experience to England’s middle-order.
“Pakistan will give us a stiff challenge during this series and we can expect some fantastic cricket from both sides over the next couple of months.
“The selectors would like to take this opportunity to wish Alastair Cook, Trevor Bayliss and the rest of the squad the best of luck for the series.”
England Squad: Alastair Cook (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Toby Roland-Jones, James Vince, Chris Woakes.