London - Uncapped duo James Vince and Josh Ball were both named on Thursday in
England's 12-man squad for next week's first Test against Sri Lanka at
Hampshire batsman Vince could well make his Test debut in Leeds,
given there is now a vacancy following the retirement through illness of
Nottinghamshire paceman Ball, meanwhile, looks set to compete with
Steven Finn for the third seamer role in an attack set to be led by
James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
Vince, 25, already has five England limited-overs caps. His batting
style has been compared to that of former England captain Michael
The Hampshire captain has made a sound start to the season, including
scoring a hundred against county champions Yorkshire at Headingley in
Leeds, northern England.
Ball, also 25, has made his case with 19 Championship wickets for Nottinghamshire so far this season.
"Both Jake Ball and James Vince thoroughly deserve their opportunity,
having performed well with the England Lions (the national A or reserve
side) and starting the season in good form with their respective
counties," said national selector James Whitaker in an England and Wales
Cricket Board statement.
"James has been a consistent performer for Hampshire and England Lions over the past few years.
"He is already well-regarded by the England coaches in the short
format and now has the opportunity to showcase his skills at Test
Meanwhile, Vince, recalling his Headingley hundred, told Hampshire's
website: "Obviously I was there not long ago, and it was nice to spend
some time in the middle.
"But this is going to be a different feeling... It's something I've
been aiming for since I was a little kid really. Definitely when I was
growing up, playing for England in a Test was still the number one."
England will again be captained by Alastair Cook, with the Essex
left-hander needing just 36 more runs to become the first Englishman to
score 10 000 in Tests.
Alex Hales looks set to keep his place as Cook's opening partner,
with Nick Compton in line to be given another opportunity at number
three in what will be England's first Test campaign since their series
win in South Africa.
At Headingley two years ago, Sri Lanka won a thrilling match with just one ball remaining to claim a 1-0 Test series victory.
This time around Sri Lanka are without batting greats Kumar
Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene, both now retired from international
The first Test, which starts at Headingley on May 19, is the first of a three-match series.
England have also named a 30-man performance squad for their home
season, including 22 players who have either central or incremental
contracts based on international appearances over the last year.
Alastair Cook (Essex, captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire, wkt), Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Nick Compton (Middlesex), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Alex Hales (Nottinghamshire), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Vince (Hampshire)