The England selectors today named a 13-man squad for the first Investec Test match against South Africa, commencing Thursday 19 July at the Kia Oval. Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan retains his place in the side, but Jonny Bairstow has been omitted in favour of Essex’s Ravi Bopara.
Bopara is the only player included in the squad who did not feature in the 2-0 series victory against West Indies earlier this summer. He has played 12 Tests for England to date with the 27-year-old middle-order batsman last playing a Test in August 2011.
National selector Geoff Miller said: “We have played some very good cricket over the last couple of months in all formats to win series against West Indies and Australia and, after a month of limited-overs cricket, preparations are now under way for what is sure to be a very competitive Test series against South Africa.”
“We know we will need to play excellent cricket to win this three-match series and the squad will be determined to start with a strong performance this week during the first Investec Test and set the tone for the rest of the series.
“Ravi Bopara has worked hard to regain his place in the Test squad following some injury concerns earlier in the season and is the only player included who is yet to play a Test match this summer.”
England squad for first Investec Test
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex, captain) James Anderson (Lancashire) Ian Bell (Warwickshire) Ravi Bopara (Essex) Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire) Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire) Alastair Cook (Essex) Steven Finn (Middlesex) Graham Onions (Durham) Kevin Pietersen (Surrey) Matt Prior (Sussex) Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire) Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire)