The Ashes 2021-22 – Jos Buttler commits to Ashes tour as England name squad for Australia

England have named the strongest available squad for their attempt to regain the Ashes this winter, with wicketkeeper and vice-captain Jos Buttler joining Joe Root in committing to the tour. As anticipated, there was no place for Ben Stokes, as he continues his indefinite break from the game, while Sam Curran was not considered for the 17-man party after being diagnosed with a back stress fracture at the IPL.

The ECB only gave “conditional approval” for the tour on Friday after several months of wrangling over the pandemic-related restrictions that England players, staff and family members would face.

James Anderson will return to Australia for a fifth Ashes tour at the age of 39, while Stuart Broad is set to be fit after a calf injury ruled him out after the first Test against India in August. Ollie Robinson was selected for his first senior tour of Australia after an impressive debut summer, with Chris Woakes, Craig Overton and Mark Wood making up the pace battery, and Jack Leach and Dom Bess included as spin options.

The batting features only three men with experience of Test cricket in Australia – Root, Jonny Bairstow and Dawid Malan – with Zak Crawley included as back-up to openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed, and Dan Lawrence providing competition for Ollie Pope in the middle order. There was no room for Dom Sibley, despite his involvement in Warwickshire’s Championship and Bob Willis Trophy double after being dropped two Tests into the India series.

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