Root names England team for first South Africa Test

New captain confirms spinner Liam Dawson will play at Lord’s.

Joe Root has named the England team for his first Test as captain against South Africa at Lord’s starting on Thursday.

In his pre-match media interviews, Root announced that Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson is set to play, meaning Toby Roland-Jones misses out from the 12-man squad named at the weekend.

With Dawson and Moeen Ali in the team, the Three Lions will play a Lord’s Test with two spin bowlers for the first time since 1993.

Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance is set to bat at three, with Root coming in at four.

Root said: “I’ve decided on the team, Liam is going to play. Toby is the unfortunate one to miss out but he’s really impressed everyone with the way he has gone about his business.

“Liam’s character is exceptional – the way he bowled in India and so far this season has been brilliant. He’ll bring us a lot of control and a bit of depth in our batting as well.

“Gary is going to bat at three. The way he has played this year and the amount of runs he has scored has been excellent. Hopefully he will get off to a cracking start this week and show everyone that he’s an international cricketer.

“I look at the team and I think it’s got great balance. The guys are raring to go and really looking forward to tomorrow.”

 England team to face South Africa

Joe Root (Captain)
Moeen Ali
James Anderson
Jonathan Bairstow
Gary Ballance
Stuart Broad
Alastair Cook
Liam Dawson
Keaton Jennings
Ben Stokes
Mark Wood

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