Stokes named in England test squad for NZ

Stokes named in England test squad for NZ

England have called up uncapped Lancashire batsman Liam Livingstone and returning paceman Mark Wood for the two-match Test series in New Zealand.

The two games Test series will be played between 22nd March and 3rd April with Auckland and Christchurch being the venues.

Two years ago Liam Livingstone's greatest claim to distinction in the cricket world was that he had scored 350 for Nantwich in a national club knockout cup match against Caldy.

After surrendering the urn in a 4-0 series defeat, the tourists are hoping for a measure of revenge in the five-match series.

England test squad: Joe Root (c, Yorkshire), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Middlesex), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ben Stokes (Durham), Mark Stoneman (Surrey), James Vince (Hampshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham).

Vince averaged 26.88 batting at number three in the Ashes and opener Stoneman averaged 25.77. "My ultimate goal is to play Test cricket for England, and going to Australia with the Lions was the best way to give myself the best chance of doing that".

Livingstone will take part in the England Lions red-ball squad only of the West Indies tour in February before joining up with the senior squad in New Zealand in March.

England announce Test squad for New Zealand tour

"We are particularly impressed with the way he bats against spin and is equally adept against the seamers, " said Whitaker.

All-rounder Ben Stokes is again in the squad but will drop out if investigations into last September's brawl in Bristol are not completed.

"He is a very talented and tough cricketer who has the ideal qualities and character to be successful in the Test arena. You look at the Ashes and the full stadiums, there's still a lot of interest in Test cricket, and as players it's still what you want to play".

The ECB has confirmed that if they receive notification that Stokes has either been charged or not charged, the ECB board will convene within 48 hours to decide on his availability for the tour.

Trevor Bayliss made a strong case for the retention of Mark Stoneman and James Vince when reviewing the campaign earlier this week, but the pair underperformed Down Under and there is little doubt that this show of faith requires immediate payback if they are to linger in the side.

Ballance did not feature in the series, Ball featured only in the first Test and Curran was a late addition to the squad before turning out in Melbourne and Sydney.

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