England have added Haseeb Hameed and Sam Billings to their squad for the Test series against New Zealand after Ben Foakes was ruled out by a freak injury.
Foakes was set to play his first Test in home conditions next month at Lord’s after fellow wicketkeepers Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow – along with Moeen Ali, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes – were rested for the series following their stints in the IPL.
But the 28-year-old will now miss his chance after slipping in the dressing room after Surrey’s LV= Insurance County Championship fixture against Middlesex at the Kia Oval and tearing his left hamstring.
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Foakes’ absence increases the likelihood of Gloucestershire wicketkeeper-batsman James Bracey making his international debut next Wednesday when coverage of the first Test begins live on Sky Sports Cricket at 10am.
Kent’s wicketkeeper-batsman Sam Billings – also uncapped at Test level – has been called up as cover with the squad growing from 15 players to 16 following the further addition of in-form Hameed.
The opener has caught the eye this season, finding a new lease of life at Nottinghamshire after leaving Lancashire in 2019.
The 24-year-old has scored 474 runs at an average of 52.66 and offers England another option at the top of an order where Rory Burns, Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley and Bracey are already vying for places.
Hameed has three Test appearances to his name but has not played for England since November 2016, his form dipping dramatically for Lancashire in the intervening period.
Hameed will play for Nottinghamshire in this week’s LV= Insurance County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, which starts on Thursday, before joining up with the England team at their base in London on Sunday night.
England Men’s Test Squad: Joe Root – Captain, James Anderson, Sam Billings, James Bracey, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Olly Stone, Mark Wood.
Watch the first Test between New Zealand and England live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10am on Wednesday, June 2.
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