England’s 13-man Ashes squad

HOW ENGLAND’S 13-MAN SQUAD SHAPE UP FOR THE ASHES

ALASTAIR COOK

Age: 30

Tests: 114

Ashes Tests: 25

Playing role: Left-handed batsman

Test batting average: 46.87

Ashes batting average: 39.71

No man has scored more Test runs for England. Cook’s captaincy has come under question recently, but he ended a run of poor batting form with centuries against West Indies and New Zealand.

ADAM LYTH

Age: 27

Tests: 2

Ashes Tests: 0

Playing role: Left-handed batsman

Test batting average: 37.50

Ashes batting average: N/A

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale once suggested Lyth has more natural talent than teammates Joe Root and Gary Ballance. The opener hasn’t exactly fulfilled it, but Jonathan Trott’s retirement has given him a golden chance to shine this series.

GARY BALLANCE

Age: 25

Tests: 13

Ashes Tests: 1

Playing role: Left-handed batsman

Test batting average: 52.19

Ashes batting average: 12.50

The Zimbabwe-born batsman grew up on a tobacco farm. Failed to post a score of substance during the recent series against New Zealand, but is expected to start at first drop in Cardiff.

IAN BELL

Age: 33

Tests: 110

Ashes Tests: 28

Playing role: Right-handed batsman

Test batting average: 43.77

Ashes batting average: 36.83

Will be playing his seventh Ashes series in a row. When Australia toured in 2013 he served up centuries in England’s three victories to win the Compton-Miller medal awarded to man of the series.

JOE ROOT

Age: 24

Tests: 27

Ashes Tests: 9

Playing role: Right-handed batsman

Test batting average: 54.11

Ashes batting average: 33.18

England’s answer to Steve Smith. Root may not be in the same rich vein of form, but he’s a prodigiously talented batsman that is expected to be England’s next captain.

BEN STOKES

Age: 24

Tests: 11

Ashes Tests: 4

Playing role: Allrounder (left-handed batsman, right-arm fast-medium)

Test batting average: 34.15

Test bowling average: 43.24

Ashes batting average: 34.87

Ashes bowling average: 32.80

Had a memorable debut Test series against Australia in 2013-14, physically clashing with Mitchell Johnson and making a hundred when England relinquished the urn in Perth.

JOS BUTTLER

Age: 24

Tests: 8

Ashes Tests: 0

Playing role: Wicketkeeper

Test batting average: 52.66

Ashes batting average: N/A

Innovative with the bat and willing to take risks, Buttler scored 129 off 77 balls in a recent ODI against New Zealand.

MOEEN ALI

Age: 28

Tests: 11

Ashes Tests: 0

Playing role: Allrounder (left-handed batsman, right-arm offbreak)

Test batting average: 28.50

Test bowling average: 32.60

Ashes batting average: N/A

Ashes bowling average: N/A

Locked in a selection battle with legspinner Adil Rashid. He impressed with the ball in England’s home series against India in 2014, but since then has largely struggled to make an impact in Tests.

STUART BROAD

Age: 29

Tests: 79

Ashes Tests: 17

Playing role: Right-arm fast-medium

Test bowling average: 29.77

Ashes bowling average: 29.95

Any thoughts of finally dropping the ‘pantomime villain’ tag ended when he questioned Steve Smith’s promotion to first drop, saying it helped England. Happy to say a lot on and off the field, but delivered an inspired spell of swing bowling to seal England’s series win in 2013.

MARK WOOD

Age: 25

Tests: 2

Ashes Tests: 0

Playing role: Right-arm fast

Test bowling average: 33.22

Ashes bowling average: N/A

Wiry frame means he may not look menacing, but is England’s fastest option and on his day a handful. Also a reasonably strange cat, Wood rides an imaginary horse any time he is bored in the field.

JAMES ANDERSON

Age: 32

Tests: 104

Ashes Tests: 23

Playing role: Right-arm fast-medium

Test bowling average: 29.42

Ashes bowling average: 36.96

England’s leading wicket-taker of all time is a swing specialist who has bothered Australia plenty of times in the past. Raised eyebrows when he recently called for a sledge-free series, despite being one of the chirpier cricketers in the world.

STEVEN FINN

Age: 26

Tests: 23

Ashes Tests: 4

Playing role: Right-arm fast-medium

Test bowling average: 29.40

Ashes bowling average: 36.31

Endured a particularly terrible tour of Australia in 2013-14. Lost rhythm in the nets and was eventually sent home when selectors realised the beanpole’s technique was completely shot.

ADIL RASHID

Age: 27

Tests: 0

Ashes Tests: 0

Playing role: Legbreak

Test bowling average: N/A

Ashes bowling average: N/A

The former England under-19 representative could be the latest tweaker asked to fill the void left following Graeme Swann’s retirement during the 2013-14 Ashes.

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