We run through the key points from England’s squad announcement for the upcoming three-match ODI series with Sri Lanka.
George Garton blasts his way in
There’s a newbie in the ranks. Sussex’s George Garton has earned a call-up following an impressive start to this year’s T20 Blast: after 14 wickets at 16.50 last year, the whippy quick has begun the 2021 tournament with eight scalps in four matches at 8.37 and an economy rate of 5.15. Head coach Chris Silverwood highlighted the 24-year-old’s “ability to bowl quick” and “point of difference as a left-armer”.
While uncapped, Garton has been around the England set-up before – ahead of the 2017/18 Ashes, an injury crisis saw him join the touring party as cover just nine first-class matches into his career. Is he now in bolter-territory for this year’s tour of Australia? Hmmm… let’s just focus on the white ball for now.
Stone blow disrupts England’s plans
Buried at the bottom of England’s press release was the news that Olly Stone will miss the rest of the home summer with a lower back stress fracture. “It is a great shame as Olly was showing real promise with the ball and would have been part of our selection plans for this series,” Silverwood said. Unfortunately, injuries have been a major storyline in Stone’s career so far: a recurrence of a back stress fracture ruled him out of the 2019 Ashes. England will now have to wait and hope that history doesn’t repeat itself later this year.
Stokes’ comeback inches closer
There is some good news on the injury front for England fans. “We are pleased that Ben Stokes is returning to action with Durham this weekend after recovering from a fractured finger,” Silverwood said. “If everything goes to plan, I hope he could be available for selection for the Vitality IT20 series against Pakistan next month.” Having not played in a competitive fixture since the IPL, the talismanic all-rounder’s summer plans are finally taking shape. Elsewhere, the pace options of Jofra Archer, Reece Topley and Saqib Mahmood are on the sidelines, though Silverwood added that the trio are making “excellent progress from their respective injuries”.
Playing it safe
Beyond the Garton call-up, there’s not much new to see here. While David Willey and Liam Dawson have earned recalls, the pair were included in the squad for the T20I series – which precedes the ODIs – earlier this month. There are 11 World Cup winners included, just four players under the age of 30 and little desire to throw out the playbook despite England having won just one of their four ODI series since the 2019 World Cup.