Spinner set to make first red-ball appearance since 2016 after controversial inclusion in first test squad
Adil Rashid will start as England’s frontline spinner in the first Test against India on Wednesday, while Jos Buttler has been named the new vice-captain.
Rashid was a controversial selection in the initial squad after renouncing his red-ball commitments with Yorkshire this year, but will take Moeen Ali’s spot as the sole spinner at Edgbaston.
Former England captains Michael Vaughan, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton and Geoffrey Boycott all called for Rashid to be left out by new head selector Ed Smith after his decision not to play championship matches for Yorkshire.
But the 30-year-old will now play his first red ball match since December 2016, coincidentally also against India.
That leaves no place for Moeen Ali, who struggled down under in Australia and New Zealand last winter, but had impressed in the recent one-day series against Virat Kohli’s Indians.
Somerset spin duo Jack Leech and Dominic Bess were both overlooked by the selectors after brief inclusions in the Test side this year.
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Tuesday’s squad announcement also revealed Jos Buttler as the new vice-captain, a position he will fill for at least the duration of the five-Test series against India.
Buttler, like Rashid solely a white-ball player until his Test recall against Pakistan in May, will assume the role previously held by James Anderson.
The 27-year-old Somerset batsman already holds the role in the one-day side under skipper Eoin Morgan.
Essex pace bowler Jamie Porter was the other player to miss out on a starting spot from the 13-man squad.
England starting XI for first Test versus India: Alastair Cook, Keaton Jennings, Joe Root (c), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.