England v South Africa: Ravi Bopara recalled, Jonny Bairstow dropped
Ravi Bopara replaces Jonny Bairstow in the England side to face South Africa in the first Test at The Oval
Ravi Bopara has replaced Jonny Bairstow in the England side to face South Africa in the first Test at The Oval, starting on Thursday.
The Essex batsman, who has not played Test cricket in almost a year having made 12 Test appearances for England to date, replaces Yorkshire’s Bairstow in the 13-man side.
“Ravi Bopara has worked hard to regain his place in the Test squad following some injury concerns earlier in the season and is the only player included who is yet to play a Test match this summer,” said England selector Geoff Miller.
“Jonny has had a bit of a tough time. We know he is young and talented cricketer so he just needs to go back to Yorkshire and score some big runs and fight for his place again.”
Miller added: “We have played some very good cricket over the last couple of months in all formats to win series against West Indies and Australia and after a month of limited overs cricket, preparations are now underway for what is sure to be a very competitive Test series against South Africa.
“We know we will need to play excellent cricket to win this three match series and the squad will be determined to start with a strong performance this week during the first Investec Test and set the tone for the rest of the series.”
England squad for first Test v South Africa:
Andrew Strauss (Middlesex, captain), James Anderson (Lancashire), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Ravi Bopara (Essex), Tim Bresnan (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Alastair Cook (Essex) Steven Finn (Middlesex), Graham Onions (Durham), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Matt Prior (Sussex, wicketkeeper), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire).