England have named a full-strength squad for the five T20s in India next month that represent vital preparation for this year’s World Cup, with the talking points as much focused on those omitted as those selected.
Joe Root will be allowed to fly home to rest after the Test series, meaning he does not win a recall having not played a T20 international for almost two years.
Despite being the top run scorer in the recently concluded Big Bash, captain Eoin Morgan’s stance has not softened on Alex Hales, two years after he failed a pair of drugs tests, leading to his removal from England’s squad for the 2019 World Cup.
Hopes that he will appear in this year’s T20 World Cup have slimmed even further.
The cast is familiar. Sam Billings and Liam Livingstone are the spare batsmen, having also enjoyed strong Big Bashes, while Reece Topley provides a left-arm seam option alongside Sam Curran. The reserves are Matt Parkinson, who is with the Test squad, and Jake Ball.
England will name a squad for the final two matches of the Test series and the three-match ODI series in the coming days.
England returned to training in Chennai on Thursday morning, with Zak Crawley – who missed the opening Test with a sprained wrist – having a gentle bat against the spinners. He will graduate to seam in the coming days, but Saturday’s Second Test looks likely to come too soon.
Squad: Eoin Morgan (Middlesex) (captain), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Jonathan Bairstow (Yorkshire), Sam Billings (Kent), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Sam Curran (Surrey), Tom Curran (Surrey), Chris Jordan (Sussex), Liam Livingstone (Lancashire), Dawid Malan (Yorkshire), Adil Rashid (Yorkshire), Jason Roy (Surrey), Ben Stokes (Durham), Reece Topley (Surrey), Mark Wood (Durham)