The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have announced the England squad for the third Test, and have handed a Test recall to Dawid Malan, who last played Test cricket three years ago. Malan’s last Test appearance came against India in 2018, but impressive showings in the County Championship have seen the 33-year-old earn a place in the squad for the third Test that starts on August 25.
However, Malan’s inclusion has come at a cost for opener Dom Sibley, who has been axed from the squad for the third Test. Sibley posted scores of 18, 28, 11 and 0 across the first two Tests, and questions were raised over his technique, and thus twin failure in Lord’s has seen the selectors wield the axe on the 25-year-old, who will be returning to Warwickshire to ‘spend some time playing.’
Sibley’s partner Rory Burns retains his place in the squad despite not posting a fifty across the first two Tests, as does Dan Lawrence, who was dropped from the starting XI at Lord’s. Haseeb Hameed retains his place, and is expected to open, while Saqib Mahmood also has made the squad for the third Test.
Chris Woakes is, however, still absent with injury, while there is also no comeback for Ben Stokes, who took an indefinite break from cricket at the start of the month.
“Dawid Malan deserves his opportunity in the Test arena. He has a lot of experience across all formats and, if called upon, I am confident that he can come and do well on his home ground. In the limited time he has played first-class cricket this season, he has shown what he is capable of, scoring a highly accomplished 199 for Yorkshire against Sussex at Headingley in June," the ECB website quoted head coach Chris Silverwood as saying.
“Dom Sibley needs some time away to regain his confidence after a challenging period. He will return to Warwickshire to spend time in the middle without the scrutiny and find some rhythm and confidence. Dom offers a lot of value to the Test environment and some time away should help him. However, he remains part of our plans.
“Jack Leach will return to Somerset to get some game time. I have been impressed with his patience and it’s not easy living under the COVID protocols, especially when you’re not playing. However, he has regained his confidence and spark, and it has been a considerable asset having him around. He will be on standby should we need his services, but we want what is best for him and playing cricket and getting overs into him is the way to go," Silverwood added.
The 46-year-old also revealed that the hosts are 'hopeful' of Mark Wood regaining full fitness in time for the third Test. Wood injured his shoulder at Lord's after landing awkwardly while attempting to save a boundary.
“We are hopeful that Mark Wood will be fit after injuring his right shoulder in the first Test. Our medical team will be working with him each day. We will monitor where he is at when we get to Leeds," Silverwood said.
England squad for the third Test
Joe Root (c), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Saqib Mahmood, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood