England pick uncapped James Bracey and Ollie Robinson, plus Craig Overton, for New Zealand Tests

Uncapped duo Ollie Robinson and James Bracey as well as Craig Overton have been named in England’s 15-man squad for the two-Test series against New Zealand in June.

All three will be hoping for opportunities at Lord’s from June 2 and Edgbaston from June 10 with Jofra Archer (right elbow) and Ben Stokes (finger) out injured and Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran given extra rest after completing their quarantine period following the postponement of the Indian Premier League.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said Stokes is “progressing well” from the fractured left index finger he sustained during the IPL and is due to return for Durham in the Vitality Blast next month, while Archer will see a medical consultant this week to determine the seriousness of his elbow issue, which flared up when he played for Sussex against Kent last week.

We need to get this resolved once and for all to give him the best chance of being fully fit as we build up to an intense winter, which will include a T20 World Cup and the Ashes. We need him firing in all formats of the game.

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Seamers Robinson and Overton and wicketkeeper-batsman Bracey – all of whom have spent time in England’s bio-secure bubble over the last year – have been rewarded for fine starts to the county season, with head coach Chris Silverwood picking them in his first squad since becoming main selector following the departure of national selector Ed Smith in April.

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England squad for New Zealand Test series

Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood

Robinson has claimed 29 wickets in five County Championship matches for Sussex at an average of 14.72, having come into the season with 159 first-class wickets across the previous three campaigns.

Overton – who played the most recent of his four Tests during the 2019 Ashes – is the leading English wicket-taker in the country with 32 scalps in five games at 13.96 for Somerset.

Bracey, meanwhile, has scored 478 runs at an average of 53.11 batting at No 3 for Gloucestershire, with one century – against Somerset – and four further fifties in 10 innings.

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The left-hander, 24, appears to be vying with Rory Burns, Dom Sibley – who is included in the squad despite not playing for Warwickshire since April due to a finger injury – and Zak Crawley for a spot in England’s top three.

Bracey could also keep wicket but that role seems likely to go to Ben Foakes in Buttler’s absence, with Foakes now set to play his first Test in England after eight appearances overseas.

England will report to their training base in London on Friday, May 28 before beginning their series against New Zealand the following Wednesday.

Silverwood said: “With several players not available through injury or being rested for the New Zealand series, it is an opportunity for us to reward those who have been on the fringes of England squads over the past 12 months.

“James Bracey and Ollie Robinson deserve their call ups to the Test squad. They have been consistent performers in the County Championship this season and, over the past 18 months, have excelled for the Lions on the field and in the various camps they have been involved in.

“Having spent all winter and last summer in the company of our established Test players, they have immersed themselves in preparing and understanding what it takes to play at this level.

“The environment and culture will be something they are used to, and should they be in a position to make their Test debuts, they will be ready to showcase their skills.

“They are both resilient characters and have demonstrated to me, the captain and coaches that they have the desire, temperament and the ability to continually improve to give themselves every chance of succeeding on the international stage.”

Warwickshire’s Olly Stone – who played his second Test during this winter’s 3-1 defeat in India – joins Robinson, Overton, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Mark Wood as seam-bowling options.

Jack Leach is named as the sole spinner, with Dom Bess, who endured a tough winter in the subcontinent, missing out and Matt Parkinson overlooked despite taking 19 wickets in four games for Lancashire.

Buttler, Bairstow, Moeen, Curran and Woakes will link up with their respective counties in due course, with Silverwood adding: “We felt it necessary for them to have an extended break. We need them to recharge mentally and we will then take a view when they return to cricket.

“It will mean that they will get some competitive matches with their respective counties either in the LV= Insurance County Championship or the Vitality Blast next month. We will work closely with each individual on when they are likely to play again.

“This is the start of our international summer and an exceptionally long winter, so we are mindful that we need the players ready both physically and mentally.

“Understanding players needs are paramount in our planning and something that will continually develop across the year leading into the World Cup and Ashes campaigns.”

England squad for New Zealand Test series: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood

Watch the first Test between New Zealand and England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.30am on Wednesday, June 2.

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