England have named a 12-man squad for the first Investec Test match against South Africa starting at Lord’s on Thursday 6 July 2017.
Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones, who made his ODI debut in June at Lord’s against South Africa, is the only uncapped player in the squad and is in contention to make his England Test debut on his home ground having taken 22 wickets in the Specsavers County Championship during this campaign.
Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance is also included in the squad along with Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson, while Durham’s Mark Wood returns to the Test squad for the first time since October 2015.
Jake Ball (right knee) and Chris Woakes (side strain) were not available for selection due to injury.
Yorkshire's Joe Root, who was appointed England’s Test captain in February, will lead the team out for the first time on Thursday.
Chairman of Selectors James Whitaker said: “There is great excitement around the first Test of the summer and with the start of a new era under the captaincy of Joe Root this is an exciting time for English cricket.
“Toby Roland-Jones is a player we have been monitoring for quite some time and deserves his chance after a strong couple of seasons with Middlesex in red ball cricket. He came close last year when he was named in the Test squad against Pakistan in July. Toby has been in good form this campaign and his ability to seam the ball along with the fact that he can score useful runs down the order gives us a number of options.
“Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance could play his first Test since October. He has been in fantastic touch with the bat in the Championship averaging over 100. He deserves to be included and we feel that he will add maturity and experience to our middle-order.
“On behalf of the selectors, I would like to wish Joe Root, Trevor Bayliss and all the squad the very best for what will be a competitive series against South Africa.”
England first Test squad to face South Africa
Joe Root (Yorkshire) (Captain)
Moeen Ali (Worcestershire)
James Anderson (Lancashire)
Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire)
Gary Ballance (Yorkshire)
Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire)
Alastair Cook (Essex)
Liam Dawson (Hampshire)
Keaton Jennings (Durham)
Toby Roland-Jones (Middlesex)
Ben Stokes (Durham)
Mark Wood (Durham)
Investec Test Series Fixtures
July 6-10: First Investec Test Match, Lord’s Cricket Ground, London
July 14-18: Second Investec Test Match, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
July 27-31: Third Investec Test Match, Kia Oval, London
August 4-8: Fourth Investec Test Match, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester