LONDON: England's all-time leading wicket-taker James Anderson was ruled out of a 12-man squad announced Thursday for next week's first Test against Pakistan at Lord's.

Anderson, 33, has not recovered from a right shoulder injury sustained in the third Test against Sri Lanka last month – a three-match series England won 2-0.

The Lancashire paceman's place in the squad has been taken by uncapped Middlesex seamer Toby Roland-Jones.

He will now be pushing for a Test debut on his Lord's home ground alongside Nottinghamshire quick Jake Ball, in the squad for the Sri Lanka series but also yet to make his maiden Test appearance.

“Jimmy has been touch and go for a while, he is making really good progress but it is the selectors' view that he just won't be quite ready for that first Test, hopefully for the second [at Old Trafford],” said England captain Alastair Cook on Thursday.

With struggling number three Nick Compton taking time out of cricket, the selectors have recalled Yorkshire's Gary Ballance for the first of a four-Test series starting on July 14.

But they opted against including one-day wicket-keeper Jos Buttler in the Test squad and playing all-rounder Ben Stokes, not fit for bowling following a knee injury, as a specialist batsman.

Roland-Jones, 28, has been in fine form for Middlesex this season, with 30 County Championship wickets at under 30 apiece.

“Toby has had a really good summer so far and has been there or thereabouts for the last three years or so,” added Cook at a press conference.

“His bowling stats have improved a lot and he is a very decent bowler and it will be good to see him around the squad for the first time this week.”

Ballance ‘quality’

Ballance, 26, last played Test cricket against Australia at Lord's last year. This week he scored 132 in the first innings against Middlesex at Scarborough.

England national selector James Whitaker said of Ballance: “He has been in recent form with the bat for Yorkshire in the Championship. “Gary is mentally strong and we feel that he will add quality and experience to England's middle-order.”

As for Stokes, Cook said: “Quite rightly when he comes back and he is fully fit he comes into our side.

“He is that player who can change a game of cricket very quickly, with bat and ball, he is that all-rounder who has that ability.

“The selectors want him to play a bit more cricket, he hasn't played a lot. He has just come back from an operation and after a long time out of the game it is a big ask.”

This will be England's first home series against Pakistan since the infamous 2010 campaign.

That year's Lord's Test saw Pakistan seamers Mohammad Amir and Mohammad Asif, together with captain Salman Butt, given five-year bans and jail terms for deliberately bowling no-balls as part of a newspaper sting operation.

Left-arm fast bowler Amir returned to international cricket earlier this year and the 24-year-old could now make his Test comeback at Lord's.

Amir took an impressive three for 36, swinging the ball steeply at sharp pace, in Pakistan's drawn tour-opener against Somerset earlier this week.

Pakistan have one more three-day game, against Sussex at Hove starting on Friday, before the first Test.

England Squad: Alastair Cook, Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Jake Ball, Stuart Broad, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Toby Roland-Jones, James Vince, Chris Woakes.



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