James Anderson
Anderson's absence for the first Test is a blow as England look to complete a clean sweep against all Test-playing nations. Getty Images


  • Anderson nurses shoulder injury suffered during third Test against Sri Lanka.
  • Stokes overlooked as batsman after recovering from surgery while Buttler misses out.
  • Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones will compete with Jake Ball for final spot at Lord's.

England will be without James Anderson, Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for the first Test against Pakistan starting next Thursday [14 July] after the trio were left out of the squad for the match at Lord's. The country's highest Test wicket-taker Anderson continues to nurse a stress fracture in his shoulder suffered against Sri Lanka, while Stokes and Buttler have been overlooked for recalls.

Stokes missed the second and third Tests against Sri Lanka after undergoing knee surgery, and though he if yet to return to bowling was hopeful of being selected exclusively as a batsman. Buttler has missed out on a recall despite his impressive one-day form and has not represented the Test team since last October.

Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones could make his international debut on his home ground against Pakistan after being included in the 12-man squad. The 28-year-old has been promoted from the England Lions team after taking 30 County Championship wickets this season and will compete with fellow-uncapped seamer Jake Ball of Nottinghamshire to replace Anderson.

Elsewhere, Gary Ballance is in line for his first Test appearance for a year after earning a recall following his first century of the season against Middlesex this week. Nick Compton's omission after he averaged 12.75 during the three-match series against Sri Lanka will see England shuffle their batting order, with Joe Root moving up to bat at three. Scott Borthwick and James Hildreth must wait for their chance despite both players averaging over 50 this season.

Gary Ballance
Gary Ballance has earned a recall into the England Test team Getty Images

"Building on the success of the Test series win against Sri Lanka last month, we have maintained our objective of retaining a balanced squad," said National Selector James Whitaker. "With an injury to James Anderson, there is an opportunity for Toby Roland-Jones who has been a consistent performer in the County Championship over the last few years and deserves his chance.

"Gary Ballance is recalled to the Test squad for the first time since the winter series in South Africa and could play his first Test for England in 12 months. He has been in recent form with the bat for Yorkshire in the Championship. Gary is mentally strong and we feel that he will add quality and experience to England's middle-order. Pakistan will give us a stiff challenge during this series and we can expect some fantastic cricket from both sides over the next couple of months."