Spinner Dawson In England Test Team To Face S. Africa

Joe Root, the new England captain, has confirmed that spinner Liam Dawson will play in the first Test against South Africa at Lord’s starting on Thursday.

With England having selected a 12-man squad, it means that, for the second year in a row, uncapped paceman Toby Roland-Jones has missed out on the chance of making a Test debut at his Middlesex home ground.

This match will be Hampshire left-armer Dawson’s first Test on home soil after he made a debut against India at Chennai in December.

His inclusion means that England will field two spinners — off-break bowler Moeen Ali and Dawson — in a Lord’s Test for the first time since 1993.

Root also confirmed Wednesday that his recalled Yorkshire colleague Gary Ballance would bat at three, with the skipper himself in at four and their fellow county team-mate Jonny Bairstow, the wicket-keeper, in at number five.

Root was named as Alastair Cook’s successor in February, but England have not played a Test in the intervening period and Thursday’s first of a four-match series will mark his opening match in charge.

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