LONDON: England have recalled fit again fast bowler Ollie Robinson for the first two Tests of their three-match series against South Africa that starts at Lords on Aug. 17 as a replacement for the injured Jamie Overton.
Robinson has himself only recently returned to action after a back problem and will test his fitness in a four-day game for the England Lions against touring South Africa in Canterbury starting next Tuesday.
Sam Billings, who had been cover for concussed wicket-keeper Ben Foakes, drops out of the squad that beat India by seven wickets last month - a fourth win in a row under the new leadership of coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes.
Robinson’s last Test was against Australia in Hobart in January. He has 39 wickets at an average of 21.28 in his nine appearances to date.
The squad is for the first two matches of the series at Lord’s and then Old Trafford (Aug. 25-29) and will be reassessed ahead of the third and final game at The Oval (Sept. 8-12).
South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada has been ruled out of two Twenty20 Internationals against Ireland this week and is also a doubt for the Test series against England as he works his way back from a medial ligament injury in his ankle.
Rabada is a key strike bowler for South Africa in the longer format and his absence would be a huge blow to the tourists hopes of success in the England series.
Cricket South Africa said on Tuesday the 27-year-old would be closely monitored ahead of the Test series but offered no time frame on a potential return to action.
He is definitely out of the T20 games against Ireland that will be played in Bristol on Wednesday and Friday.
South Africa will look to cement their lead in the World Test Championship with a series win against a resurgent England.
England squad: Ben Stokes (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Harry Brook, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Jack Leach, Alex Lees, Craig Overton, Matthew Potts, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Joe Root.
Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2022