London - Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes was recalled by England as the selectors named a 13-man squad on Wednesday for next week's first Test against India at Trent Bridge.
Stokes was the only addition to the 12-man party chosen for England's recent 1-0 loss in a two-Test series at home to Sri Lanka.
23-year-old Stokes was not chosen for that short campaign while he
regained full fitness following an embarrassingly self-inflicted wrist
So angry was Stokes at being dismissed for a golden duck
against the West Indies in Barbados, he punched a dressing room locker
at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown and promptly broke a bone in his
That forced him to miss the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh and the start of the English season.
then the seamer has taken a career-best seven for 67 for Durham against
Sussex -- and 10 wickets in the match -- although his batting has been
less impressive with 172 runs at 28.66 in four Championship matches.
Stokes has already shown his ability at international level by
providing England with rare highlights during their 5-0 Ashes thrashing
in Australia when he scored a maiden hundred in his second Test at Perth
and took eight wickets in Sydney.
Now Stokes is set to compete
with fellow all-rounders Chris Jordan and Chris Woakes, who didn't
feature in the Sri Lanka series, for a place in the England side.
Cook, despite a barrage of criticism over his tactics during Sri
Lanka's 100-run second Test win at Headingley last week and concerns
over his own form, retained the England captaincy.
decided against including a frontline spinner, with slow bowling duties
in the absence of retired off-break bowler Graeme Swann again entrusted
to Moeen Ali, primarily a batsman who scored a maiden century in only
his second Test at Headingley.
Ali took three wickets in the Sri
Lanka series but Cook seemed reluctant to use him, thereby increasing
the workload on his seamers.
And with the five Tests against India
set to take place within the space of just 42 days, a lack of overs
from Ali and occasional spinner Joe Root on what are set to be dry
pitches threatens to run the risk of one of England's quicks breaking
down and so reduce their chances of a morale-boosting series win.
Alastair Cook (Essex, captain), Sam Robson (Middlesex), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Matt Prior (Sussex, wkt), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Liam Plunkett (Yorkshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire)