Ashes 2015: England include Adil Rashid in 13-man squad

Yorkshire leg-spinner Adil Rashid has been included in England’s 13-man squad for the opening Ashes Test against Australia in Cardiff.


Uncapped Rashid, 27, was selected despite not being part of England’s team-bonding trip to Spain under new coach Trevor Bayliss.

Mark Footitt and Liam Plunkett, who is not fit, are not picked after going on that trip, but Steven Finn is recalled.

The first Test of the five-match series starts on Wednesday, 8 July.

Rashid is one of five players in captain Alastair Cook’s squad – along with Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler, Adam Lyth and Mark Wood – who have not played in an Ashes series.

Rashid toured the West Indies in the winter without being selected for any of the three Tests, but featured in England’s 3-2 one-day series win over New Zealand this summer.

He helped Yorkshire move to the top of County Championship Division One on Wednesday with victory over Durham, with the selectors keen for him to play in that match.

Rashid said: “I was told to come and play and get some overs under my belt and see if I could get selected and that’s happened.

“It’s always a dream to play Test cricket for any youngster and especially to be part of an Ashes squad is a really exciting time. Hopefully I can do well.”

Finn is chosen ahead of fellow pace bowlers Plunkett and Footitt despite not playing a Test since he was dropped following the first Ashes Test in July 2013.

The Middlesex bowler returned home early from the 2013/14 Ashes tour after failing to make the team for any of the Tests.

Warwickshire batsman Ian Bell, 33, will be playing in his seventh consecutive Ashes as England, who drew their Test series against New Zealand 1-1 this summer, look to win back the urn after losing 5-0 in Australia in 2013/14.

National selector James Whitaker said: “Adil Rashid’s inclusion provides Alastair and Trevor with plenty of bowling options and the surface at Cardiff will dictate who makes the final XI.

“There has been some very good cricket played so far this summer and we are aware that we will need to build on that over the next seven weeks if we are to win back the Ashes.”

Australia coach Darren Lehmann, whose side are currently playing their final warm-up game against Essex at Chelmsford, said: “It’s pretty much as we thought it would be, so we’ll have to play well.

“They’ve got some quality players but we’ve got a lot of blokes who have played county cricket, so we know them.”

England squad for first Test: Alastair Cook (captain, Essex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper, Lancashire), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Adam Lyth, Adil Rashid, Joe Root (all Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Wood (Durham).